Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), released the following statement in response to President Bush's appearance today in Silver Spring, Md:
"The people of Maryland need solutions, not photo opportunities and political rhetoric. The new Medicare prescription drug program (Part D) is a mess. It's one more give-away to drug and insurance companies that makes it harder for seniors. I have heard from Marylanders - they need affordable health care.
"Health care costs are skyrocketing and seniors are paying a greater share out of their pockets for health care each year. Medicare premium increases are outpacing inflation. Prescription drug costs are shooting through the roof.
"We must do everything we can to create permanent solutions to help, not harm, America's seniors. We need to fix Part D by lowering costs by negotiating drug prices, cutting benefits to drug companies, and closing the coverage gap.
"But the President's budget, being considered this week in the U.S. Senate, does not honor America's seniors. They must be supported not just with words, but with deeds. This means putting money in the federal checkbook to support important programs, not cutting funding and touting flawed programs like Part D."