Senate Rejects Murray's Attempt to Help the Most Vulnerable Americans Transition into New Medicare Drug Program

Nov 03 2005

On 43-56 vote, Senate defeats Murray's amendment to give low-income seniors and disabled 6 months to transition into new Medicare drug plan

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the United States Senate rejected an amendment offered by U.S. Senator Murray (D-Wash) to ensure that vulnerable residents don't fall through the cracks as the new Medicare prescription drug law is implemented in the coming months.

Murray offered the amendment yesterday to ensure that people who are eligible for help from both Medicare and Medicaid don't face a gap in coverage as they are transitioned into the new Medicare Part D program. Murray's amendment - to the Republican budget bill - was defeated on a 43-56 procedural vote on a motion to waive budget rules.

“Millions of Americans could lose their drug coverage when the new Medicare prescription drug law is implemented; it’s unfortunate that the United States Senate didn’t view protecting the most vulnerable among us as a top priority,” Murray said after the vote today. “The Republican budget on the floor this week tries to cut support for those who have too little. Those are the wrong priorities for our country.”

Murray, who has also and another amendment to provide $2 billion in emergency funding for states to provide stop gap drug coverage to protect our most vulnerable residents, vowed to continue her fight to ease their transition under the new Medicare law.

“There is a time bomb ticking for millions of low income or disabled Americans who are eligible for help from both Medicare and Medicaid,” Murray said. “I know the December 31st transition deadline is looming, and I’m going to keep fighting for those in our state and across the country who don't have a voice in the process.”