Wednesday, November 25, 2009
MARK DAYTON ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Mark Dayton has always been a big supporter of prescription drugs for seniors. The following is from a column he wrote when he was Senator.
Providing Affordable Prescription Drug Coverage Should Be Our Top Priority
August 8, 2002
By long-standing tradition, the House and Senate are in "recess" during August. This month, however, the Senate should be in detention, instead! In July, we tried and failed three times to pass legislation providing prescription drug coverage for senior citizens and other Medicare recipients. Then, we adjourned for a recess that we did not deserve. We should have kept on working, instead!
Just before the recess, I wrote Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and urged that we stay in session until we passed a prescription drug coverage bill. Our individual plans for the beginning of August would have been disrupted. Good! I guarantee we would have passed a bill after a couple days of personal inconveniences! And our problems would have been insignificant, compared to the hardships that the lack of prescription drug coverage causes seniors.
Unfortunately, my advice was not followed. That happens a lot, since I am still 100th in seniority! However, I will press the Senate to take up this legislation again, when we reconvene the day after Labor Day.
The House did pass a prescription drug bill before its August recess. It is not a very good bill, because House members were not nearly as generous to seniors as they are to themselves. Under their bill, seniors would receive on average less than half the coverage for prescription drugs that House members get through the Congressional plan. However, at least the House did pass something. Give them the grade of D and a "needs improvement"!
Give the Senate an F and an "incomplete." Neither the Democratic caucus bill nor the Republican caucus bill received enough support to pass the Senate. The bill I favored was the more generous of the two. Yet, it would still have provided seniors on average with only two-thirds of the coverage members of Congress receive under our plan. All but two of the Democratic Senators voted in favor of this bill.
The Senate Republican caucus favored another measure, which would have given seniors on average about half the coverage as members of Congress. After both of these bills failed to receive enough votes to pass, we voted on a compromise plan. It was considered too expensive by some Senators and not generous enough by others; so it, too, went down in defeat. That is when we should have persisted until something else acceptable to both sides passed. Instead, we took a recess.
There is still enough time after Labor Day for the Senate to pass prescription drug coverage legislation, reconcile its differences from the House bill in a Conference Committee, and send that final bill to the President for his signature this year. It is imperative that we do so. I will do everything possible to see that we do. Source.
The media at the time engaged in irresponsible reporting, twisted the facts and got the story wrong. It was reported that Dayton was an ineffective senator and even gave himself an F. Did they not know the true story, that he gave all the senators an F, not just himself? That makes a huge difference in how we perceive Mark Dayton. Why are journalists not more responsible in reporting the truth? I despise lying and I find journalistic irresponsibility deplorable.
The MN GOP must be scared that Dayton is running for governor. The minute he got the AFSCME endorsement, Tony Sutton appeared on WCCO to talk about it. Obviously Sutton doesn't know the first thing about researching his topic. Either that or he prefers to promote lies and misconceptions. After watching Sutton on The Week's Political Panel (10/09/2009), I can only conclude that he is not the brightest bulb in the pack. Watch the above video to see what he tries to do and how Wy Spano and Dee Long of the Democratic party refute him at every step.
Readers probably know by now that I like to indicate who a particular person reminds me of. Tony Sutton reminds me of Lumpy from Leave it to Beaver .