Font Size

It's True, The Senate Did Make the Same Mistake...Twice

Hard to believe but it's true. The Senate won't even debate allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. Senate Republicans blocked this critical vote showing once again that Drug Industry lobbying trumps seniors' needs. Following is a statement from our President/CEO, Barbara Kennelly.

“The vast majority of Americans want Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. Seniors and their families know there is no logical reason the federal government should be prohibited from negotiating with drug makers except to preserve industry profits. Part D is legislation written by and for industry and drug makers have spent millions ensuring it will remain so. Senators were given a chance to correct their mistake and put seniors’ needs ahead of corporate profits. Unfortunately today, they made the same mistake twice and American seniors will continue to pay the price"

The National Committee and its 4 million members and supporters will continue to push Congress to make desperately needed reforms to the flawed Part D legislation. More than 200-thousand letters will go to Capitol Hill this week reminding lawmakers that this debate is not over and seniors will continue to fight for a prescription drug plan that works for its beneficiaries.

Will the Senate Make the Same Mistake...Twice?

The Senate is debating the Part D Drug Negotiation bill, S.3, this morning. Chances are there won't even be a vote on this legislation because the GOP has threatened to block a full debate and vote. What a shame.

The Senate has a chance to fix a mistake made in the first Part D legislation which ties Medicares hands and prohibits negotiation for lower prices on prescription drugs. This is legislation written by industry and for industry and drug makers have spent millions making sure it stays that way.

We'll have more as the morning business continues.

Drug Negotiation Bill Goes to the Senate Floor

The Senate Finance Committee passed the Part D drug negotiation bill late Thursday night allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies for lower prescription drug prices. The committee's vote was 13-8. The Associated Press has coverage of the debate. The full Senate is expected to vote sometime this week.

It will be a busy week with activities planned in advance of the Senate vote...more on that soon.

Part D Drug Negotiation Bill Debated in Finance Committee Tonight

Keep your eyes open for activity in the Senate over the next few days on Medicare drug negotiation legislation. The Senate Finance Committee will markup S.3, the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007 at 6:40p tonight and the bill is expected before the full Senate next week. Language in the Senate bill doesn’t go as far as HR 4, the House version (which the President says he’ll veto) and according to the New York Times today the White House is also working against this Senate bill.

The vast majority of Americans support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices but the drug industry has spent millions in advertising and lobbying to stop any changes which might allow the government to use the purchasing power of 43 million seniors to lower their drug bills. Unfortunately, money talks…soon we’ll see who the Senate is listening to. Seniors or Pharma?

Here is our latest News Release and position paper on the importance of price negotiation to our members and beneficiaries nationwide. Medicare Monitor also has a number of posts detailing the latest activity in the Senate.

We Couldn't Have Said It Better

Kudos to columnist Marie Cocco for doing her homework and some good old fashioned digging in her coverage of the recess appointment of Andrew Biggs to the number two position at the Social Security Administration. Until Cocco's story, most reporters seemed content to provide only simplistic "Biggs is against private accounts" stories on his appointment. Unfortunately, Biggs' recess appointment is more meaningful than that and as Cocco correctly summarizes, could have far greater implications than much-discussed Swift boat nominee turned ambassador, Sam Fox:

"But the Fox appointment doesn’t have nearly the insidious potential to harm average Americans as the recess appointment of Andrew Biggs to be deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration. Biggs is more than just a proponent of Bush’s failed proposal to change Social Security from a system of guaranteed government insurance to an investment vehicle dependent on individual savings. He is an architect of the libertarian project to undermine public confidence in Social Security to clear the way for dismantling it."

And what better place to do that than from the inside? Cocco continues...

"It’s awfully hard to imagine that a Congress now controlled by Democrats—who resurrected their political fortunes in part by blocking Social Security privatization—would go along with a new private accounts scheme. But that doesn’t make Biggs harmless. “You’re putting a guy in as policy director who does not believe in social insurance,” says Barbara Kennelly, president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and a former counsel to the Social Security commissioner during the Clinton administration. “He can undermine the program from within.”

We consider this story a must-read, especially if you thought the fight against Social Security private accounts was over.



Have a Social Security or Medicare question?


Media Contacts

Pamela Causey
Communications Director
(202) 216-8378
(202) 236-2123 cell

Walter Gottlieb
Assistant Communications Director
(202) 216-8414

Entitled to Know



Copyright © 2018 by NCPSSM
Login  |