June 10,2003

Comment on Bipartisan Chairman's Mark on Medicare, Prescription Drugs


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Medicare and prescription drugs
Da: Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the followingcomment on his bipartisan chairman’s mark – released today – to improve Medicare and add aprescription drug benefit.

“Right now, people can work their whole lives and still not be able to afford prescriptiondrugs in retirement. Prescription medicines are very useful but very expensive if you’re buying themon your own. We know that many older Americans skimp on groceries to pay for their medicinesor the other way around. This proposal will improve Medicare and add a prescription drug benefits of older Americans won’t have to choose between eating well and staying well.

“If enacted, today’s bipartisan proposal will help millions of Americans with their drug costs.That’s not only by giving older Americans financial help for prescription drugs, but also byharnessing their purchasing power and making companies compete to lower out-of-pocket expensesfor older Americans and the disabled. This bill spends the taxpayers’ money wisely. It gets the mostbang for the buck. It protects the interests of rural Americans. It offers an equal benefit for thosewho want to stay in traditional Medicare and those who want to try a new option. I call the FinanceCommittee the ‘quality of life’ committee because we cover so many issues that deal withAmericans’ financial and physical health. If enacted, this proposal will enhance the quality of lifefor millions of older Americans.”