PALLONE ASSAILS BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S MEDICARE PROPOSAL TO SHIFT MORE COSTS TO SENIORS
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, issued the following statement this afternoon after the Bush administration released a Medicare "trigger" proposal that would shift more costs to America's seniors.
Under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, the administration and a Republican Congress required that if general revenues contributed more than 45-percent to Medicare over a two year period, the administration would be required to send a proposal to Congress outlining ways to reduce Medicare spending.
"Since its creation in 2003, I have opposed the concept of a trigger as nothing more than an attempt by Republicans to further privatize the Medicare system and push more costs onto America's seniors. Today's proposal shows that opposition was well-founded.
"If the Bush administration was serious about cutting costs within the Medicare system without hurting America's seniors, it would support the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act that was passed by the House last year. House Democrats proposed a way to modernize Medicare by eliminating wasteful spending to private insurers under Medicare Advantage, while also providing stable payments to physicians and more assistance to low-income beneficiaries.
"Unfortunately, the Bush administration seems content in overpaying the private sector through Medicare Advantage while, at the same time, pushing more medical costs onto our seniors and the disabled.
"It's unfortunate that President Bush allows his ideology to get in the way of sound policy that could modernize the Medicare system and continue to provide quality health care to America's 44 million seniors and disabled. I will fight to ensure that Medicare is not dismantled by this administration."