Sunday, February 26, 2006

Healthcare w/Gov. Tom Vilsack

An entry from Mary Jo...

Friday was a big day for us here at Kilroy for Congress. It was our honor to host Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa and discuss the importance of ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable, quality healthcare. If you are interested, the press release for his visit is below.

As a two-term governor, Vilsack has been on the frontlines with this issue and had some interesting things to say. I was most interested in the fact that there was a time when he could negotiate prices with drug companies who wanted to do business in his state – saving tens of millions of dollars for taxpayers. Then President Bush’s prescription bill came along and made it illegal for him to continue negotiating.

With one stroke of a pen, a Republican healthcare initiative – supported by Deborah Pryce – cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

If you are interested in more information about Gov. Vilsack and his thoughts on healthcare, I encourage you to visit www.HeartlandPAC.org.

- Mary Jo

IOWA GOVERNOR VILSACK CAMPAIGNS FOR MARY JO KILROY, FOCUSING ON HEALTH POLICY

KILROY: “We need to fix the Medicare prescription drug benefit.Seniors are confused, frustrated and not paying less.”

(Columbus, Ohio)- Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack campaigned in Ohio today with Congressional candidate Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15). They focused on health care policy.

Governor Vilsack said, “Mary Jo Kilroy is a strong leader and we need her in Washington. She will fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs for our seniors and provide affordable health care coverage for all Americans. She is a dedicated public servant who will work to reform the culture of corruption that currently plagues Washington; and she will be an advocate for sound fiscal and economic policies that stem the tide of job loss in Ohio.”

Kilroy added, “I want to go to Washington to fix the Medicare prescription drug benefit that the Congressional leadership and Deborah Pryce passed. It was a bill written by the pharmaceutical companies, for the pharmaceutical companies and Ohio senior citizens are suffering. We need to fix the prescription drug benefit in Medicare. Seniors are confused, frustrated and not paying less.”

Kilroy said heath care is an economic issue. Kilroy, said, “The rising cost of health care and prescription drugs has been a one-two punch that has hurt Ohio families who were already reeling from job loses. One of the best economic policies we can have is to make health care affordable for all Ohioans, especially for those who have lost their jobs.”

She noted the Prescription Drug Bill supported by Deborah Pryce prevents the re-importation of less expensive medicine from Canada, prohibits the government from negotiating drug prices with manufacturers and reduces coverage for some seniors previously covered by Medicaid. The plan will also reap an estimated $139 billion in new profits for pharmaceutical companies.

Kilroy said, “For too many seniors this is the drug company benefit, not prescription drug benefit. Right now, the only clear winners are the drug companies and the politicians who accept their contributions. Deborah Pryce is part of the problem on this issue and that is why we need a new Member of Congress fighting for Ohio seniors.”

Governor Tom Vilsack was elected Iowa’s 39th Governor in 1998, the first Democratic governor of the state in more than 30 years. He was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2002. Mary Jo Kilroy serves Franklin County as commissioner and served eight years with the Columbus school board. Kilroy has also worked side-by-side with Access Health Columbus providing health care to uninsured, low-income families.

Governor Vilsack said, “When it comes to health care and many other issues, Mary Jo gets it and has the ability to make a difference in Washington. She understands that we need to make changes to our current health care system to reduce the ranks of the uninsured. She understands that doing so is good policy, but more importantly she understands that it's the right thing to do.”
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