Republican incumbent Rob Simmons repeated his support for the recently passed GOP-backed prescription drug plan Saturday as his challenger, Democrat Joe Courtney, called its complexity “perverse” and suggested it was crafted with the help of major drug companies.
“I think it's a good proposal. I think it's a good start,” Simmons said. “Is it a perfect program? No.”
“(The Republican Congress) did not have the backbone to stand up to the special interests and lobbyists in Washington to create that obvious policy that is in the best interest of the public,” [Courtney] said.
[Courtney] wanted to free up the federal Health and Human Services Department to negotiate with drug companies for cheaper medications in a manner similar to the one currently employed by the Veterans Affairs Department.
“I don't want the government to choose my doctors and my pills,” [Simmons] said.
“What we have to do is start being more creative and imaginitive in (putting) new sources of revenue into the system, new demographics into the system that ... will make the program healthier and wealthier,” Courtney said.
“Joe referred to new sources of income, I assume that means higher taxes,” Simmons said with a shrug.
“Premiums, Rob,” Courtney interjected, shaking his head and taking a swig from a water bottle.
Polly Leonard, 73, of Colchester said she was leaning toward Courtney. The sparring over the Medicare Part D plan, however, left her unimpressed.
“They can take that doughnut hole and shove it,” she said. (Rainey)
A few things: Simmons says he doesn't want the government choosing our doctors and our pills. But I don't see how that's worse than letting Blue Cross and Blue Shield do the same. In a perfect world, neither the government nor the private insurance companies would have a say in who my doctor is, or what he or she prescribes me. But that world isn't this one.
Notice Simmons bringing taxes into the debate, again.
Rainey, Richard. "Candidates Square Off On Medicare." The Day 8 October, 2006.