Mark Dayton for a Better Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesot Minnes - Download Logo Opinion Mark Dayton: A good deal for seniors-Pioneer Press 08.18.2009 – Updated: 08/12/2009 08:52:16 AM CDT Twitter Pitc Mark Dayton How drug co senior citizens Published Wednesday August 12, 2009 News Facts Public pressure may be forcing the Obama administration to back off its deal 2003 law pr allowing drug companies to continue ripping off billions of Medicare dollars at senior administrato citizens' and taxpayers' expense. prices for pr Medicare pa It began in 2003, when Congress expanded Medicare to provide prescription drug thirds of all coverage for seniors. At the last minute, behind closed doors, the conference nationwide, citizens and committee added a new provision, not previously considered by either the House or $85 billion e the Senate. It prohibited Medicare's administrators from negotiating lower prices for To their cre prescription drugs. Instead, Medicare was required to pay whatever prices seniors U.S. House were charged for their medicines by the various insurance plans. recently stri of their Medi Being forbidden from negotiating lower prices and thus saving money is so which woul nonsensical that it's hard to find a comparable example in the real world. So, I'll have citizens pay to make one up. Suppose a law were passed that, since this newspaper publishes lower the pr opinion columns, it must accept mine and pay me $2,000 for it. No negotiation taxpayers. allowed. Now is the ti on, by conta That is obviously absurd. Unfortunately, in Washington, absurd practices benefiting House or m powerful special interests far too often become laws. And since Medicare pays for all them: "No de or part of two-thirds of all prescriptions nationwide, this absurdity costs senior Any new he citizens and taxpayers an additional $85 billion every year. what most o their campai When the Obama administration sought political support and cost-saving negotiate lo concessions from the drug companies, their principal lobbyist proposed a deal. The prices, whic pharmaceutical prices for all industry would promise to find $80 billion in "savings" over the next 10 years to help Resource Li pay for the president's health care reform and would support it if he would protect its Mark Dayton existing Medicare gravy train. seniors Unbelievably, a top presidential aide reportedly agreed to that deal, supposedly as a Tags health care r necessary price for overall health care reform. prescription governor 20 That agreement reveals the awful truth I saw too often in Washington deal-making: policy, healt the best interests of the American people come last. The first hogs at the huge medicare health care trough are the insurance and drug companies. Their profiteering is the number one reason that good health care is unaffordable for increasing numbers of Americans. Yet they have the political and financial power in Washington to defeat change that is against their interests, even if that change would benefit the American people. To their credit, three committees in the U.S. House of Representatives recently stripped the drug companies of their Medicare price protection, which would reduce the prices senior citizens pay for their medicines and lower the program's costs to American taxpayers. Their actions, which were clearly in the American people's best interests, prompted the drug industry's dash to the White House to negotiate its "deal," which would have required President Obama to reverse his campaign promise. Since the deal was reported, public outcries and objections from principled members of Congress have apparently forced the White House to renounce it. Now is the time to keep that pressure on, by contacting either the White House or members of Congress. Tell them: "No deals" with drug companies. Any new health care law must include what most of them promised during their campaigns: allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, which would lead to lower prices for all of us. That would be a very good deal. Mark Dayton is a Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2007. He is a candidate for governor of Minnesota in 2010. Please follow link to read article online: http://www.twincities.com/opinion/ci_13043881?nclick_check=1 Short URL: http://pitch.pe/21928 About Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota - Governor 2010 Mark Dayton formally declared his candidacy for Governor of Minnesota in the November 2010 election. Previously, he served as Minnesota’s 34th United States Senator where he was a member of the Armed Services, Agriculture, and Homeland Security Committees. Dayton did not seek re-election and left office in January 2007. Since leaving office, he co-chaired Hillary Clinton’s Minnesota Presidential Campaign and worked on behalf of DFL candidates statewide. Contacting Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota - Governor 2010 Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota - Governor 2010 1300 Nicollet Avenue , MN 612-333-2175 Website: http://markdayton.org Press Contact Nicole harrison Office: 612-670-0337 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Interview Request Nicole harrison Office: 612-670-0337 Email: email@example.com © Copyright 2009 PitchEngine, Inc.