(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders says he plans to introduce legislation that will repeal two key provisions of the Medicare prescription drug bill that passed Congress last week. Sanders says the $400 billion proposal will not provide seniors with meaningful coverage because it contains premiums, deductibles and only partial reimbursement for drugs.
The legislation prohibits the re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada until the federal Food and Drug Administration certifies the safety of these products. Sanders wants to strip this provision from the law:
(Sanders) “In other words, just buying safe and affordable medicine from Canada is a better deal than what you’re getting for $400 plus billion in taxpayer money. How did that happen? Well obviously it happened because the pharmaceutical industry is the most powerful lobby in the United States. Congress does not want the cost of prescription drugs in this country to go down.”
(Host) The legislation also prohibits the federal government from negotiating lower prices with the pharmaceutical companies. Sanders says this provision makes no sense at all and should be removed from the legislation:
(Sanders) “Can you imagine the kind of price that the United States government could negotiate with the Veterans Administration, with Medicaid, with Medicare, with the Department of Defense? That is the pharmaceutical industry’s nightmare. That’s why they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to create this pathetic piece of legislation – because they do not want the government to negotiate lower prices.”
(Host) Sanders says he believes that most seniors will be very disappointed with the actual coverage that is provided in the new law once they find out the details of the legislation.