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from Daily Mislead
July 14, 2004

In pushing Congress to pass its controversial Medicare bill, President Bush promised that "corporations have no intention to what they call 'dump retirees'"[1] from their existing prescription drug coverage. But according to a new report, Bush's own health officials estimate that millions will be cut off from their existing drug coverage because of the new Medicare law.

According to government documents obtained by the New York Times, the Bush Administration now estimates "that employers will reduce or eliminate prescription drug benefits for 3.8 million retirees when Medicare offers such coverage in 2006." That represents one-third of all the retirees with employer-sponsored drug coverage. Medicare's new benefits are often less comprehensive than those offered by employers.[2]

As reported in an earlier Daily Mislead,[3] even while Bush was reassuring the nation about the Medicare bill, he was actually working to create an incentive for employers to cut off seniors from existing coverage. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Administration quietly added "a little-noticed provision" to the bill that allows companies to severely reduce - or almost completely terminate - their retirees' drug coverage "without losing out on the new subsidy." In other words, the President did not just break his promise to sign a bill that prevents seniors from losing their existing drug coverage. He actually acted to reward companies who cut off their retirees with a lavish new tax break. The companies that lobbied for the provision donated almost $140,000 in hard money and $2.5 million in soft money to Bush and his party since 2000.[4]

Sources: 1. Presidential Remarks, WhiteHouse.gov, 10/29/03, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=45854.
2. "Medicare Law Is Seen Leading to Cuts in Drug Benefits for Retirees," New York Times, 7/14/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=45855.
3. "Bush Acts to Reward Companies Who Cut off Seniors' Drug Coverage," Misleader.org, 1/08/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=45856.
4. Ibid, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208987&l=45856

Posted: July 17, 2004


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