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Press Release

    An Open Letter to Congress on the Final Medicare Prescription Drug Legislation

    11/20/2003

    Dear Congress:

    The undersigned groups are strongly opposed to the final Medicare prescription drug legislation and urge all Members to vote "no."

    While there are many bad elements of this bill, among the most reckless are:

    - Adding to Medicare's Unfunded Liabilities. Medicare is already projected to go bankrupt. Nonetheless, this bill will unconscionably add hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities to the program.

    - Deficits. This bill will add at least $400 billion to the already record budget deficits projected in the near term. If past history is any guide, we can expect the actual cost to be much higher.

    - Millions of Retirees Will Lose Good Coverage. Despite provisions that attempt to prevent companies from dropping coverage for their retirees, we believe this bill will lead to millions of retirees losing benefits currently being provided by their former employers.

    - A Retreat on the Promise of Reform. Real reforms have largely given way to "fig leaves" such as demonstration projects (which Congress has a remarkable tendency of ignoring or undermining anyway).

    For the sake of future generations who will face massive tax hikes because of this bill, we urge you to vote "no." Congress simply needs to start over with a new bill. Seventy-six percent of seniors already have good drug coverage. The American people need a bill focused only on seniors who don't have coverage and who need help. They don't need this bill, which will ruin good coverage for millions and cause disastrous erosion in Medicare's already precarious long-term financial situation.

    Sincerely,
    National Taxpayers Union
    American Conservative Union
    American Policy Center
    Americans for Limited Government
    Arlington County Taxpayers Association
    Assoc. of American Physicians Surgeons
    Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
    Citizens Against Higher Taxes
    Citizens for a Sound Economy
    Citizens for Limited Taxation
    Citizens United
    Coalition Against Higher Medicare Drug Costs
    Greene County Taxpayers Association
    Heal Washington
    Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
    Idahoans for Tax Reform
    Illinois Policy Institute
    Iowans for Tax Relief
    Kansas Taxpayers Network
    Liberty Committee
    Maryland Taxpayers Association, Inc.
    National Tax Limitation Committee
    Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom
    New York Conservative Party