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Durbin Votes No to Medicare Reform

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

Washington, D.C. – Senate Republicans trumpeted Tuesday's passage of the Medicare reform bill but Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin says the measure fails to give seniors the coverage they need the most.

He says the $400-billion package is a step towards the privatization of Medicare that will force seniors into costly managed care plans.

Durbin says the measure does nothing to bring down the rising cost of prescription drugs and tips the scales in favor of drug makers and HMO's.

"The sad thing is that the pharmaceutical companies were not confronted by the bill. They supported this bill because they know their profits are going to skyrocket under it. The administration did seniors no favor when they didn't put any cost controls in to help seniors pay for these drugs," Durbin said.

Durbin says the measure hampers the ability of generic drugs to compete with more expensive name brands, and reduces opportunities for seniors to import low cost prescription drugs from Canada.

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