ContactLiz Rose, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE10/14/2004
New Report: Medicare Law Harms Thousands In Nevada
President Bush Avoids AARP Gathering Because Nevada Seniors and Disabled Forced to Pay More for Medication with New Medicare Law
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Nevada seniors and disabled people with very low incomes will be forced to pay much more for medication they need to live because of President Bush’s new prescription drug law, according to a new report released today by the Institute for America’s Future. The Bush administration claims the new Medicare law provides the poorest people in Nevada much-needed relief from the skyrocketing cost of medicine in America. Today’s report shows that Nevada seniors with incomes below the federal poverty level will pay $3 million more for prescriptions over the first five years of the new Medicare law.
Institute for America’s Future Co-director Roger Hickey noted that today’s findings disprove the Bush administration’s assertions about the new Medicare law and help explain why the president decided to bypass the AARP’s gathering in Las Vegas today.
"President Bush can run from seniors, but he can’t hide," said Hickey. "This report shows what we knew all along. The new Medicare law gives handouts to drug and insurance companies and sticks Nevada’s most vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities with higher costs than they pay today."
Supporters of the new Medicare law have touted it as helpful to low-income seniors despite evidence to the contrary. President Bush told people across the country that seniors with the highest drug bills would save the most on their prescriptions and seniors with the greatest need would get the most help in his radio address on Nov. 22, 2003.
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., told voters they can "stay with your current coverage," according to the Reno Gazette-Journal (Miller, May 3, 2004), although many Nevadans who currently receive benefits from the state’s Medicaid program will be forced to switch to the new Medicare program under the new law.
The Institute for America’s Future report also found that Nevadans who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid would have to spend $3600 out of their own pockets to receive the full prescription drug coverage. This sum is more than half of the yearly income of the lowest-income Nevadans. In the first year alone, seniors in Nevada will pay 43 percent more in costs.
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**NOTE: Media representatives interested in more information about the Nevada Medicare report should visit www.ourfuture.org for a complete copy.**