Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack visited a pharmacy in Council Bluffs today and declared Iowa seniors would save over two-hundred bucks a year under his plan to get pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of prescription drugs. Vilsack proposes legislation that’d force drug companies to sell their prescription drugs to older Iowans at the same price negotiated for another government-run health program. Vilsack says the move would ensure the same, cheaper drug prices for Iowans who’re on Medicaid, which is government insurance for the poor, and Medicare, which is government insurance for the elderly. Vilsack says it can’t be accomplished by negotiation. Vilsack says the state tried that, and got nowhere, and it’ll require a law that’ll compel the drug companies to be cooperative. Vilsack says it’s in contrast to his opponent’s plan which he says would not hold drug companies accountable for reducing drug costs, he says it would simply shift the cost to younger Iowans. Vilsack’s Republican opponent, Doug Gross, says if he’s elected, he’ll join with Iowa insurers, city and county governments and other states to build a huge purchasing coalition that’d negotiate lower drug prices. Eric Woolson, a spokesman for Gross, questions Vilsack’s savings estimate. Woolson says Vilsacks numbers on the drug plan are just as questionable as his numbers on the budget. Woolson says Iowa seniors have “had enough of Tom Vilsack’s phony promises.” Woolson says Vilsack’s policies have been “a collossal failure” as Woolson says Vilsack is only trying to put forth something to win reelection. He says Vilsack neglected to do anything until just weeks before the election. Woolson says Vilsack’s plan is for show and wouldn’t work.
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