Resolution: the Blue Dog Coalition press release:
Source: Blue Dog Coalition press release
We strongly believe that Congress should enact a Medicare prescription drug benefit that is available, affordable, dependable and voluntary for all seniors. The Blue Dog Coalition supports proposals to provide prescription drug coverage through a defined Medicare benefit that is available to all Medicare beneficiaries. Given the shortcomings of existing private plans, we believe that relying on private sector insurance plans will leave many beneficiaries without adequate coverage. An effective prescription drug benefit must:
provide a benefit which is available to all seniors, including those in rural areas;
provide equal treatment for all seniors, without disparities in coverage between rural, urban and suburban regions;
use market power of seniors to reduce costs through competition;
help low and middle-income seniors afford prescription medicine costs;
allow participation by local pharmacists, not just mail order pharmacies; and
be consistent with Medicare modernization.
Providing prescription drug coverage as a Medicare defined benefit ensures that all seniors, regardless of where they live, will have access to the same benefit plan. The Coalition opposes H.R. 4680, unless it is modified to provide all seniors with the option of prescription drug coverage.
Relying on private sector plans to deliver prescription drug coverage will not achieve the goals outlined above. It will not be cost effective for private plans to offer coverage in rural areas, which will result in expensive government subsidies to attract plans to rural areas. Rural seniors should not be forced to pay higher premiums or have less generous benefits, simply because they live in areas that are not financially attractive to private insurance companies.�
Topic: Health Care
Headline: Prescription drug benefit within Medicare