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Plan to Privatize Medicare Is Payback to HMOs

President Bush's call to privatize Medicare by driving seniors to low-quality HMOs, in order to receive a prescription drug benefit, will undermine access to basic health care services, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights (FTCR).

"Under Bush's proposal, seniors will pay more for fewer services," says Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate with FTCR. "Bush should himself join an HMO if indeed he is willing to force seniors to join them."

This unprecedented attempt to privatize Medicare is a payback for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries' financial support for GOP candidates during the last election, according to FTCR.

"This is payback to an industry that has made a killing at the expense of patients. While the GOP is turning toward HMOs, America has been turning away because HMOs ration care in order to increase profit margins," said Flanagan.