Pelosi And Hoyer Sell Out Seniors On Medicare Part D
In their first sell-out of the session, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have caved in to the drug industry, and scaled back their Medicare Part D plans to a rather timid measure that falls far short of what was promised on the campaign trail. Although reforming the Medicare Part D program is one of the most popular items in the “100 Hours” agenda, apparently Pelosi and Hoyer have thrown overboard any direct role for Medicare in offering an alternative program, and have given up allowing seniors to buy their drugs from Canada. Instead they will send over to the Senate a watered-down measure that the industry will kill off or have Bush veto anyway.
This is a big disappointment and a mistake, and Pelosi and Hoyer just hung seniors out to dry to avoid taking on the drug industry. I know it may be a big surprise to the leadership and many of us in the blog community, but Iraq isn't the only issue out there that matters. Making a pledge to seniors that the Democrats will fix the program so that drug costs may come down and the government can negotiate best prices is a big deal, and it polls very well. Yet the leadership was afraid of losing a battle here and seeing the Senate or White House kill this effort. This was a battle that the Democrats should have fought, where the industry should have been forced to defend their profits. Yet Pelosi and Hoyer protected the industry's corporate welfare and profits, and they threw in the towel and started counting the industry's campaign contributions.
No matter how you slice it, Pelosi and Hoyer sold the seniors out. Screw them both.