Coalition, Experts To Hold Wed. Press Conference, Rally

Washington, DC:  Leaders of citizen organizations and health experts will hold a press conference call on Wednesday at 10 am to discuss the many reasons why the GOP prescription drug legislation, just unveiled, has provoked strong opposition from health care experts – and from many of the same citizen groups that originally placed the demand for a prescription drug benefit on the political agenda.

Despite AARP’s endorsement, a diverse coalition of groups around the country is coming out in opposition to the plan.  Coalition leaders and Medicare experts say that the bill produced by conferees would dismantle Medicare.

A grassroots coalition is mobilizing millions around the nation to oppose the plan now before Congress.  Local leaders are releasing a new reports from the Institute for America’s Future and from Consumers Union that describe the ways in which the Republican plan will:

  1. Lock in skyrocketing prescription drug prices;
  2. Subsidize HMOs and leave Medicare to “wither on the vine;”
  3. Turn Medicare into a means-tested program;
  4. Cause retirees to lose the drug coverage they have currently;

Speakers:
Roger Hickey, Institute for America’s Future, co-director – moderator
Theodore Marmor, Yale University, author, The Politics of Medicare.
Gail Shearer, Consumers Union, author of new report, Medicare Drugs Plan :
Too High a Price for Modest Benefit
Chuck Loveless, AFSCME Director of Legislation

Note:  A Senior Rally “Against Passing a Lemon of a Bill” will be held at noon Wednesday in the Russell Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building (third floor).  Sponsored by the Alliance for Retired Americans and other senior leaders.

WHAT:
Medicare coalition comprised of senior, disability rights, labor, and consumer
organizations fighting for Medicare prescription drug coverage to respond to the Congressional Drug Plan, release new report.

WHEN:
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

DIAL-IN:
1-866-330-1200   code: 134-922#

For more information contact Anne Macri at 202/955-5665 or macri@ourfuture.org.

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