JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri 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 Missouri much-needed relief from the skyrocketing cost of medicine in America. Today’s report shows that Missouri seniors with incomes below the federal poverty level will pay $16.2 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.
“This report shows what we knew all along,” said Hickey. “The new Medicare law gives handouts to drug and insurance companies and sticks Missouri’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. Senator Kit Bond, R-Mo., promised Missouri voters that this Medicare bill provides help to the two groups that need it most, “low income seniors and seniors with high drug costs,” in a statement on the Senate floor on Nov. 22, 2003.
The Institute for America’s Future report also found that people in Missouri 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 over half of the yearly income of the lowest income Missourians.
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**NOTE: Media representatives interested in more information about the Missouri Medicare report should visit www.ourfuture.org for a complete copy.**