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January 27, 2009

For Immediate Release

Vicki Gottlich, Senior Policy Attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy, will join Congressman Marion Berry (D-AR), Congressman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) in a joint conference call today, January 27, 2009 at 4 p.m. EST, to discuss the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2009. The Bill would establish one or more drug plans in the traditional Medicare program that would compete with the current, exclusively private Part D drug plans.

"This legislation is a breath of fresh air," states Judith Stein, Executive Director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. "For the first time Medicare beneficiaries would have the option to stay in traditional Medicare and obtain prescription drug coverage." In addition, the bill would make prescription coverage more affordable for beneficiaries and taxpayers alike by requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate the purchase price of covered Part D drugs with pharmaceutical manufacturers. It would also increase beneficiary protections by establishing an appeals process that is efficient, imposes minimal administrative burdens, and ensures timely procurement of non-formulary drugs or non-preferred drugs when medically necessary. "The Center for Medicare Advocacy is thrilled to see this legislation introduced and urges its passage," says Ms. Stein. "It begins an essential journey to reorient the Medicare program toward the needs of beneficiaries and the concerns of fiscal responsibility."

Call Details:

Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Time: 4 p.m. Eastern/3 p.m. Central Time

Call In Number: 888-391-9505
Passcode: Medicare

Judith Stein is available for comment.

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