From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on Reported Medicare Deal

November 12, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today following news reports that Republicans are near a deal on the Medicare prescription drug bill:

“Democrats want a real Medicare prescription drug plan for America’s seniors that will bring down drug prices and provide guaranteed, defined benefits under Medicare. Democrats continue to be excluded from negotiations, but from what we know of this backroom deal, the Republican plan does not meet any of these criteria.

“For weeks, Democrats have been literally knocking at the door, on behalf of 40 million seniors and disabled Americans, to get into the negotiating room and work for a bipartisan bill to make prescription drugs affordable.

“A Medicare prescription drug deal that leaves millions of seniors at the mercy of HMOs, increases costs for many seniors, and forces millions of seniors to lose coverage from their employers is not a good plan. If media reports about the closed-door deal are accurate, then the Republican plan will not give seniors the affordable prescription drugs they need.

“Republican negotiators have reportedly inserted provisions that were not included in either the House or Senate bill and that go well beyond the addition of a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.

“This is no longer a debate just about including a prescription drug benefit in Medicare. Republicans are trying to dismantle the Medicare program that seniors have known and trusted for nearly 40 years. And that is completely unacceptable.”




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