A. J. (Jim) Norby
Retiree Leader Concerned About
Prescription Drug Price Negotiations Bill
Bill Doesn’t Make Negotiations
Mandatory In Effort To Lower Medicare
Prescription Drug Prices
(WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2007) The
president of the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) expressed
disappointment Friday that the U.S. Senate's Finance Committee approved a
bill that does not mandate negotiations for lower prescription drug prices
for Medicare participants.
given us the sleeves out of their vests," said A. J. (Jim) Norby, NRLN
president. “Congress should be hearing the voices of desperate retirees,
and not those of highly-paid lobbyists.";
referring to Thursday night's Finance Committee action that would repeal the
part of the 2003 Medicare law that prohibits negotiations, but the drug
benefit would still be delivered by private entities, and the government
could not establish a price list or a uniform list of covered drugs.
the some two million retirees that the NRLN speaks for want a version of the
Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiations Act of 2007 that makes
negotiations mandatory and not simply discretionary.
Medicare Part D has provided savings for tens of millions of Medicare
beneficiaries, the price of many prescription drugs are still far too costly
and are continuing to increase at an alarming rate," Norby said. "This was
understood by the 255 House members, including 24 Republicans, who passed a
bill that requires the government to negotiate for lower Medicare drug
12, 2007, the House approved H.R. 4 that would require the government to
negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry for lower prices on behalf of the
private insurers that run the Medicare drug benefit program.
"Senators will have another chance to
get it right when the bill goes to the floor of the Senate," Norby said.
"We hope that the bill will be amended with the mandatory negotiation
requirement and the majority of the Senators will act in the best interests
of older Americans rather than the vested interest of the pharmaceutical
companies who are against lowering prices."
in Washington, D.C., the NRLN is dedicated to securing federal legislation
that will guarantee the fair and equitable treatment of retirees in the
private and public sector. The NRLN represents a non-partisan, grass roots
coalition of retiree associations with a combined membership of some two
million men and women who are seeking to protect their pension and
healthcare benefits. For more information, visit the NRLN Web site at
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