CONGRESS MUST STEP IN TO EXTEND DEADLINE ON MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN REGISTRATION -- (House of Representatives - March 16, 2006)
(Ms. BERKLEY asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Ms. BERKLEY. Madam Speaker, if the Bush administration does not act within the next 2 months, seniors who sign up for the Medicare prescription drug plan will be severely penalized. In less than 60 days, seniors who have not yet signed up for the plan will face a Bush Medicare drug tax for the rest of their lives.
The President has shown no interest in extending this arbitrary deadline. If the President won't act, Congress must.
House Democrats did not support this debacle of a prescription drug plan, but we don't want to see seniors penalized because the Republicans voted to create a confusing plan that most seniors believe won't work. Seniors need more time to make the right decision. They are understandably confused.
If the President won't act, House Republicans must join us in extending the deadline for seniors to sign up for the new drug plan. Democrats have introduced legislation that would give seniors 6 additional months to decide on the best plan for them. What is fair is fair. We simply cannot allow the Bush Medicare drug tax to take effect.