From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on Medicare Prescription Drug Bill

October 29, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today prior to President Bush’s speech on Medicare:

"President Bush is expected to call for bipartisan action on adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. Democrats could not agree more. Unfortunately, the Republican leaders in Congress have blocked House Democrats from participating in the negotiations.

"Making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors and the disabled is one of our highest priorities. Democrats want what Medicare beneficiaries want and need: a drug benefit that is guaranteed, defined, affordable and available to all seniors through the Medicare program. We will continue to push for legislation to help seniors, not HMOs and big insurance companies.

"Democrats join AARP and many other organizations that represent seniors and the disabled in objecting to provisions that would create incentives for employers to drop their existing retiree coverage, force seniors to pay more to keep the Medicare benefits they already have, and open enormous gaps in coverage that leave millions of seniors without any help paying for prescription drugs for part of the year. And Democrats continue to oppose privatizing Medicare. Rather than leaving seniors at the mercy of HMOs, Congress should provide an affordable, consistent benefit through the existing Medicare program that seniors and the disabled community know and trust."




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