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Flashback Friday 2003: Congresswoman Biggert Votes to Force Seniors into Medicare Donut Hole

Press Release

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The Supreme Court ruled yesterday to ensure families would have access to quality affordable healthcare, that children would be able to stay on their parents insurance until age 26 and that seniors would not be forced to spend more on their healthcare. A critical outcome of the 2010 Affordable Care Act was to slow the rapidly increasing premiums and coverage gaps in Medicare known as the "Medicare donut hole," which was created by Congresswoman Biggert's vote in 2003.

Flashback 2003: In 2003, after a marathon three hour vote that became iconic for dysfunction and lobbyist-driven corruption in Congress, Congresswoman Biggert and her Republican allies voted to give a sweetheart deal to the drug companies, while shifting the future costs on to the backs of seniors. Her vote for a deeply flawed Medicare prescription drug program made sweeping changes that gave billions of dollars to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, while forcing seniors to accept annual increases in premiums and deductibles and a growing gap in coverage for the prescription drugs they buy. The Congressional Budget Office projected that over the course of ten years the program would force costs to rise by 78% for seniors -- and yet, under pressure from the drug companies that have put tens of thousands of dollars into her campaigns, Congresswoman Biggert voted for the bill.

"We need to ensure that our seniors are not held hostage by pharmaceutical companies so people can live on the retirement they saved for," said Bill Foster. "Congresswoman Biggert and her Tea Party allies have made clear that they will put special interests before seniors even if it means increasing premiums for seniors or drastically cutting Medicare and forcing families to pay thousands more for care."

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