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Carter Votes Against Limiting Choices For American Seniors

Location: Washington, DC


House Conference Secretary John Carter (TX-31) today voted against H.R. 4 , The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiating Act of 2007. This act would force the government to set price controls in order to negotiate prescription drug prices for seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program. Historically, price controls lead to drug rationing.

"The Democrats' scheme would create government price controls, which will lead to higher prescription drug prices," Carter said. "It also limits the number of drug prescription choices American seniors are offered, and could prohibit seniors from using their local pharmacist."

"The provisions in this bill will increase drug costs for our veterans, devastate our local pharmacies, and slow the search for new, life-saving cures," Carter continued. "This type of government interference isn't beneficial to anyone."

The American Legion, a veterans' service organization with nearly three million members, yesterday released a letter opposing H.R. 4, saying it "is not in the best interest of America's veterans and their families." It goes on to say the following:

"Every time the federal government has enacted pharmaceutical price control legislation, the Department of Veterans Affairs experienced significant increases in its pharmaceutical costs as an unintended consequence."

Currently, the Medicare drug program has reduced the cost of prescription drugs for seniors by thirty percent. There are forty different nationwide plans that offer drug benefits to seniors. The competition amongst those plans is driving down the cost of medications.

According to CMS, government negotiations with drug manufacturers regarding drug prices included in this bill would not provide any savings.

The Republicans offered a motion to stop the Democrats from limiting seniors' choices of drugs and their ability to choose their pharmacist. The Democrat plan is based on the Veterans Administration model that relies on mail order prescriptions. Unfortunately this motion was defeated by the Democrats.

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