FLASHBACK: Patty Murray Opposed Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

For Immediate Release

September 27, 2022


FLASHBACK: Patty Murray Opposed Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

Nearly Two Decades Ago, Three-Decade Incumbent Voted Against Bipartisan Legislation to Help Seniors Struggling to Afford Medicines

Pasco, WA – Three-decade incumbent Patty Murray is on television claiming to be a champion for seniors and lower prescription drug costs. She’s even resorted to making false attacks against Republicans on these issues, with The Washington Post giving her four Pinocchios today:

“‘Republicans plan to end Social Security and Medicare if they take back the Senate.’ — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), in a tweet, Sept. 25 … Murray, who has been in the Senate since 1993, is running against Republican Tiffany Smiley. Murray’s tweet is a succinct example of what we called ‘Mediscare’ attacks — an effort to warn seniors that Republicans will take away their hard-earned benefits … This is yet another example in which Democrats strain to conjure up a nonexistent GOP plan regarding Social Security and Medicare. Murray earns Four Pinocchios.”

Why is Patty Murray spending millions of dollars promoting herself as a protector of Medicare and lying about her Republican opponent? Because nearly two decades ago, Patty Murray VOTED AGAINST bipartisan legislation – the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 – to add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. Here’s what three of her current Senate Democrat colleagues who all voted in favor of the bill said at the time:

  • Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE): The “$400 billion prescription drug benefit under Medicare … helps those who need it the most … I feel strongly that we can no longer sit back and do nothing at all … the need is too great to let politics continue to get in the way of doing what is right for our nation’s seniors.”

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “The bill would bring ‘substantial help’ to the people she represents. It would, she said, make prescription coverage available to more than 4 million Californians, including 351,000 low-income Medicare beneficiaries in California who … have no prescription drug coverage.”

  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR): “I will not vote to let the last train that leaves the U.S. Senate go out without $400 billion to be used to help vulnerable seniors and those who are getting crushed by prescription drug costs.”

Patty Murray’s refusal to protect seniors and future retirees continues to this day. Early last year, a bipartisan proposal to help shore up and boost the solvency of Social Security and Medicare passed with 71 votes. To no one’s surprise, Murray was among only 29 Democrats to VOTE AGAINST it.

BOTTOM LINE: If Patty Murray had her way, Medicare wouldn’t cover seniors’ prescription drugs at all!

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