From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: AARP Letter Confirms that House Republican Medicare Prescription Drug Bill Is Another Empty Promise

July 15, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the AARP’s letter outlining its objections to the current Medicare prescription drug bills being considered by Congress. A copy of the letter can be found here. The letter comes after House Republicans blocked an effort by Democrats to instruct House-Senate conferees to reject the House provision turning Medicare into a voucher program and accept the Senate provision requiring a federal "fallback" in areas where no private insurance provider offers a prescription drug plan. AARP lists vouchers and the federal fallback as among its key concerns.

“AARP’s letter confirms what we already knew: the House Republican Medicare prescription drug bill is just another empty promise.

“President Bush and House Republicans are attempting to unravel Medicare by pushing seniors into HMOs. Experience has shown that vouchers don’t work for seniors who live in rural areas or for those who are sick.

“AARP wrote: ‘This will lead to an inherently unfair system: Medicare+Choice experience strongly suggests that private plans will enroll younger and healthier beneficiaries, leaving older and sicker individuals to drive up traditional Medicare spending rates.’

“Seniors trust Medicare because it is affordable and guaranteed. Republicans have made their intentions clear from the beginning -- they want to kill Medicare. Democrats will fight to strengthen Medicare and give seniors a prescription drug benefit under Medicare that is affordable, guaranteed, and available to all seniors and disabled Americans.”




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