Pelosi Statement on Families USA Study on Confusing Republican Prescription Drug Plan
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on a study released today by Families USA that provides new evidence that the Republican prescription drug plan does not do enoughto meet the needs of America's seniors and people with disabilities, contradicting the Administration's claim that seniors have access to at least one prescription drug plan that provides coverage in the doughnut hole at a reasonable cost. The study shows an 18-fold increase in the number of Medicare beneficiaries without any access to meaningful coverage in the so-called doughnut hole in 2007, and an increase of 87 percent in monthly premiums for doughnut hole coverage.
"This study provides new evidence that under the confusing Republican prescription drug bill, the number of seniors at risk of falling into the doughnut hole will skyrocket next year, denying millions more seniors access to their prescription drugs. This result was inevitable under the Republican law -plans that offer doughnut hole coverage will have more beneficiaries with high prescription drug usage, and therefore the premiums of these plans will be substantially higher. Ultimately this will make it impossible for such plans to exist at all.
"Democrats have a New Direction for America. We are proposing common-sense improvements to the complex Bush prescription drug program. We will begin by making prescription drugs more affordable for our seniors by requiring Medicare to negotiate for lower prices and dedicating the savings to help close the doughnut hole and provide more coverage for seniors. We can and we must make the Medicare prescription drug plan fairer and more cost effective."