of the Welfare State Continues to Grow as Prescription Drug Benefit
For Immediate Release.
June 30, 2003 On June
27, 2003, both the Senate and the House of Representatives approved
the largest expansion of Medicare since its creation nearly forty years
ago. They passed legislation that would enact a huge new entitlement
program to provide a prescription drug benefit.
and most Democrats voted against the Medicare Prescription Drug and
Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (H.R. 2473) in the House of Representatives
that passed by a 216 to 215 vote. The
Senate, on the other hand, overwhelmingly voted 76 to 21 for the measure.
President George W.
Bush was enthused by Congress’ passage of these entitlement measures
when he said in a statement, “Seniors have waited too long for more
choices and better benefits, including prescription drug coverage, similar
to the kind now enjoyed by federal employees and members of Congress.
I will continue working closely with Congress during conference
to make improvement and pass meaningful Medicare reform.”
“In retrospect, if
one looks at past growth in health care entitlement programs, the addition
of a prescription drug benefits to Medicare will add up to many times
its estimated cost of $400 billion,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president
of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy.
“The cost of entitlement programs are always underestimated to
attract Congressional support for the various programs brought to a
vote. Furthermore, when delineating the program’s long-term fiscal soundness
the drug benefit will burden Medicare with an expected liability of
$4.4 trillion over the 75-year period but provides no means to fund
The new prescription
drug benefit program is aimed at middle-income Americans and makes a
farce of prudent reform and sensible budget control.
Congress’ reforms reduce choice and innovation and impose staggering
financial burden on current and future generations instead of combining
steps to assist some seniors with reforms to the unsustainable finances
of the Medicare program.
“Once again, President
George W. Bush has lead Republicans to do what is politically expedient
instead of doing what is right and best for seniors,” said Dr. Joel
P. Rutkowski. He added, “If President Bush continues his
present course of action at the end of his first term in office, he
will have caused the Welfare State to grow more than any other President
in the history of this nation. That
would have made even President Lyndon B. Johnson
blush with envy. It is the hope
of the President as well as the Republicans in Congress that they have
taken just one more democratic issues away from the Democrats in hopes
to attract enough voters from this demographic group to get re-elected
in 2004. It is both morally and ethically wrong to promote
public policy that is not best for this nation in hopes that it will
buy enough voters for re-election while burdening current and future
taxpayers with this wasteful unnecessary big government financial burden.”
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
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