I guess this feels especially personal to me today as I just watched this elderly couple struggle to understand the chemo-radiation regimen. She was hooked up to a tiny oxygen tank. If we are going to try and save the lives of our elders, let us at least make it as easy as possible for them. Please sign this today, if you haven't already. Thank you from me, and others.
Dear MoveOn member,
Have you heard about the May 15th deadline to sign up for the new prescription drug program? Most Americans haven't. But in less than 2 weeks, President Bush and Congressional Republicans are preparing to slap as many as 14 million seniors with heavy, lifetime penalties because they haven't joined the bewildering new program.1We need to stand up for our seniors.
So today, we're launching an urgent petition calling on Congress to cancel the May 15th lifetime penalty (also called the "senior tax") and to fix the Medicare drug program. It's time to put seniors' needs above corporate greed.
We'll rush your signatures and comments to Congress before the clock runs out next Monday. If enough of us speak up on this politically sensitive issue, we can help push Congress to act before it's too late. Please sign today:
Why are the top Republicans in Washington pushing this harsh deadline?
Big drug company lobbyists wrote the Medicare drug plan, and spent hundreds of millions of dollars to ram it through Congress.2 To maximize profit, they need as many seniors as possible to sign up, and pay in. But five months after the launch, as many as 14 million eligible seniors have been unable or unwilling to join the corrupt program. Why have so many seniors been shut out?
Cost: The government is forbidden to use its free market negotiating power to lower costs, so seniors have to pay more and the deficit explodes,3 while the big drug companies rake in an estimated $325 billion dollar profit over the next 10 years.4
Control: Drug companies can switch the drugs they offer at will, but seniors are locked into single plans for up to a year at a time—whether or not they are getting the drugs they need.5
Confusion: Because Medicare is forbidden to offer the drugs directly, seniors are bombarded with hundreds of different private programs and mountains of fine print.6
Adding insult to injury, the official Medicare hotline has consistently given out false information to seniors struggling to choose a plan.
Now, the drug companies need more seniors to pay in to their corrupt program. Seniors do need a drug program, and the right way to boost enrollment would be to fix the serious flaws that have kept seniors out. But instead, President Bush and Congressional Republicans are trying to intimidate reluctant seniors into joining by threatening them with severe, lifetime penalties.
But they don't have to get away with it. Democrats in Congress are standing firm against the penalties,8 and even some Republicans are breaking ranks.9 As the national spotlight turns this week to the looming "senior tax", we can help show Congress and the media that seniors—and Americans of all ages—are mobilized on this issue, and ready to act.
We'll deliver your signatures to your Representatives in Congress, and report our totals to the national media. The big drug companies will always have more money, but in our democracy real people can still carry the day.
Please join us, and encourage friends and relatives who are concerned about this issue to do the same:
–Ben, Natalie, Matt, Tom, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Monday, May 8thth, 2006