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TN Taxpayers Lose Out on $400 Million A Year

April 19, 2007

Tennessee taxpayers are losing out about 400 million dollars a year. It's not because they missed a deduction on their tax forms this week, it's because the Senate is refusing to let the Medicare prescription drug program negotiate with drug companies for better prices, according to Tennessee Citizen Action. Executive Director Bill Mason says Congress is missing an opportunity to be more efficient for the benefit of taxpayers, and seniors who are being priced out of the program.

"It just defies logic that people who call themselves fiscal conservatives would allow this kind of really fleecing of the taxpayers of the state."

Those against allowing Medicare to negotiate say regular market competition will keep prices low.

Mason notes that Tennessee's senators are among those who are objecting to the proposal that would allow Medicare medicine price negotiation.

"Not only is it a betrayal of the taxpayers, it's a betrayal of the kind of fiscally-conservative principles that these two senators from our state tell us that they support at election time."

Democratic leadership has promised to bring the bill back, although the Senate failed to reach cloture on the bill Wednesday.

The complete report on potential savings with Medicare medication price negotiation from the Institute for America's Future is at

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - TN