In November of 2005 senior citizens were given the chance to sign up for the new Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program for the first time. Enrollment could be done via a special web site and phone number was set up to handle questions. The first enrollment period was scheduled to last until May 2006. After that, premiums would go up.
Democrats were outraged. Though many of them had supported the program they claimed the implementation was a disaster. Harry Reid called it a “botched transition” from which seniors needed “emergency relief.” On February 3, 2006, Reid highlighted a “no confidence” vote held in the Senate which he said should “delay the late enrollment penalty” and help Americans “make sense of this unnecessarily complicated program.”
Washington, DC – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement in response to last night’s vote of no confidence in the Bush Administration’s implementation of the prescription drug program. A majority of Senators voted to delay the late enrollment penalty and provide emergency relief from the botched transition to the new federal drug program last night: