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Public Statements

Wilson Challenges Lawmakers to Medicare Debate

Location: Washington, DC


Wilson Challenges Lawmakers to Medicare Debate

March 2, 2004

The Honorable John D. Dingell
U.S. House of Representatives
2328 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Ranking Member Dingell,

I read in Roll Call that you and Congressman Rangel have been tasked by Minority Leader Pelosi to travel around the country to conduct workshops and town halls on the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. This report says New Mexico is one of the places you will visit during your travels. If you do decide to visit the Land of Enchantment, I would like to personally welcome you to our state by extending an offer to participate with me in a public debate on the new Medicare law.

The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-173) was a good deal for New Mexico. Under this new law, 45% of New Mexico's seniors will qualify for the low-income assistance, receiving drug coverage with reduced or no premiums and deductibles. These seniors will pay only minimal copayments for their prescription drugs.

Beginning in 2006, the Medicare prescription drug benefit will give 55,605 seniors in New Mexico access to drug coverage they would not otherwise have and will improve coverage for many more.

The new Medicare law also strengthens the health care system in New Mexico by leveling the playing field in payments that physicians and hospitals receive compared to other states, thanks to the work we were able to do in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The new Medicare law gives significant help with the cost of prescription drugs to New Mexico's seniors, particularly low-income seniors. For that reason I supported the Medicare bill and will defend it anytime. I look forward to a debate in my state with you on this issue. My staff will be in touch to set up a date, place, and time to get this scheduled.


Heather Wilson
Member of Congress

Cc: Congressman Charles Rangel

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