July 21,2003

Grassley on Preserving Employer-Provided Prescription Drug Coverage


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Prescription drug coverage for retirees
Da: Monday, July 21, 2003

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, made the following commenton a new Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) analysis showing that any Medicareprescription drug benefit is likely to have a very minimal effect on employer-provided prescriptiondrug coverage.

“This report takes the wind out of the sails of those who are attempting to use the employerissue to sink prescription drug benefits for seniors. This analysis – from a credible, experiencedgroup -- is based on the same level of definitive data as the Congressional Budget Office estimate.It shows that if Congress does nothing, some employers will drop their prescription drug coveragefor retirees. That’s inevitable. But if we enact any government prescription drug benefit, the impacton employer-provided drug benefits should be minimal. Still, our goal in Congress has to be to bringdrug coverage to those who have none and to preserve coverage for those who already have it. I’llcontinue to advocate several Senate-approved provisions to encourage employers to retain theirprescription drug programs for retirees.”

The text of the EBRI materials is attached.