From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: 'Republican Means-Testing Proposal Does Not Save Dollars and Does Not Make Sense'

October 2, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement tonight after the House of Representatives voted to reject a harmful Republican motion to add means-testing to the Medicare prescription drug bill. Unfortunately, the House also voted to reject a Democratic measure that would have helped America's seniors by closing the "coverage gap" in the Republican legislation.

"Today, Democrats offered the House of Representatives the chance to close the enormous coverage gap in the Republican Medicare prescription drug bill; Republicans offered the chance to undermine Medicare through means-testing.

"Democrats stand united in our opposition to means-testing. The Republican bill does not save dollars and does not make sense. We should hold down costs by letting the government negotiate lower drug prices -- not by charging seniors more for the benefit they need and deserve.

"It is shameful that Republicans voted against closing the large coverage gap in their bill. Charging Medicare beneficiaries a monthly premium, for which they get nothing, is not the promise we made to seniors and the disabled.

"Democrats are working hard to pass a Medicare prescription drug benefit that will make medicine more affordable for all seniors. Democrats believe we should provide a guaranteed, affordable benefit instead of spending billions of dollars, as the Republican bill does, on subsidies for HMOs and new tax breaks for Health Savings Accounts that will not work."




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