April 06, 2007

Wyden Statement on White House Veto Threat to Proposed Medicare Drug Reforms

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) released the following statement this evening following the President's threat to veto legislation seeking to reform the Medicare prescription drug benefit:"Spiraling costs and the low levels of participation we've seen so far may jeopardize the survival of the hard-won Medicare drug benefit. Ignoring those obvious problems and threatening to veto any solutions isn't a productive or responsible reaction. Making changes to contain costs and increase participation is precisely what Congress and the Administration should be doing, so this benefit can deliver on its promise to every senior. A bipartisan plan is on the table to make that happen: the Medicare Enhancements for Needed Drugs (MEND) Act I've written with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would grant the Secretary of Health and Human Services negotiating authority to get decent prices on the medicines millions of seniors need. I'm willing to roll up my sleeves and work on a bipartisan basis to save this benefit. By refusing any improvements, the White House is writing a prescription for a program that cannot survive. I hope the President will reconsider his position."