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Public Statements

Special Interest Over Public Interests

Location: Washington, DC

SPECIAL INTEREST OVER PUBLIC INTERESTS -- (House of Representatives - January 12, 2007)

Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Speaker, a special interest over the public interest, there is no more vivid example of special interests trumping the public interest than the Medicare Part D legislation that we must reform today.

Extending a drug benefit to our seniors on Medicare is the right thing to do. Even in its current form, it has helped thousands of Vermonters and hundreds of thousands of Americans.

But when this Medicare drug benefit was first passed, a worthy extension of this good program went terribly wrong because of the wrong-headed prohibition on the Federal Government's ability to do the obvious: negotiate fair prices for the taxpayer. This program fails on its most fundamental level, cost. Failing on cost, it impedes access.

The lobbyists who had such an influence in writing this bill bewildered our seniors and ripped off our taxpayers.

The public interest, the interest of our seniors and taxpayers are who we represent today and who we can help today with the passage of this bill.

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