Skip the banner and navigation and go straight to the main content
Portrait of Rep. Collin Peterson Congressman Collin Peterson -- Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District
photos from Minnesota's Seventh District
HomeBiographyContactDistrictHelping YouLegislationNewsPhotosVisiting DC





Fixing the Republican Prescription Drug Bill

Affordability:  Democrats will reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

Democratic Prescription for Change: 

p       Require Medicare to leverage its bargaining power and negotiate lower prices with drug companies so that seniors get a better deal.

p       Help close the “donut hole” by dedicating the cost savings from price negotiation toward ending the coverage gap.

Flawed Republican Bill:

Ř      Specifically prohibits Medicare from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices – a proven tool used by the Veterans’ Administration to reduce costs. 

Ř      Many beneficiaries will be faced with a coverage gap where they will be forced to pay the entire cost of their prescriptions between $2,250 and $5,100 – also known as the “donut hole”—even though they will still be responsible for paying monthly premiums. 

Simplicity: Democrats will offer a simple option directly through Medicare.

Democratic Prescription for Change:

p       Allow seniors to choose a plan administered directly by Medicare – efficiently guaranteeing a simple and secure benefit that will reduce drug costs and ensure comprehensive coverage. 

p       Extend the enrollment deadline to December 31st without penalty, so that individuals are not locked out of drug coverage for the rest of the year.

Flawed Republican Bill:

Ř      Rather than building on the existing framework in Medicare, the Republican Congress chose to outsource prescription drug coverage to private plans resulting in an unnecessarily complex program.

Ř      Individuals who did not sign up prior to the May 15th deadline are being forced to pay a lifetime penalty in the form of higher premiums and will be denied drug coverage until 2007. 


Reliability: Democrats will ensure access to prescription drugs. 

Democratic Prescription for Change:

p       Stop drug plans from increasing co-payments and creating burdensome administrative hurdles during the year, when beneficiaries are not allowed to change plans.

Flawed Republican Bill:

Ř      Under the Bush plan, prescription drug plans can change how much they charge at any time or create administrative hurdles that make it burdensome for beneficiaries to access their prescriptions.