Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the Department of Health and Human Services announced that more than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries have received one-time, tax-free checks of $250 to help pay for prescription drug costs. These checks will continue to be mailed out as seniors enter the "donut hole' prescription drug coverage gap, with an estimated 4 million seniors and people with disabilities receiving this assistance over the next several months:
"More than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries have now received a rebate check to help begin closing the prescription drug "donut hole' coverage gap and make their prescription drugs more affordable. Starting in January, those who fall into the donut hole will begin receiving a 50-percent discount on brand name drugs while in the donut hole. They are receiving these benefits because of the health care law Congress passed to strengthen Medicare, lower costs for our seniors, and give seniors more control over their medical care.
"Congressional Republicans have voted to repeal this law, and undercut Medicare by making it a voucher system. While Democrats are closing the donut hole and making Medicare fiscally sound for decades to come, Republicans are promising they will go back to the days of higher drug costs, shrinking benefits, and insecurity for our seniors. We will not go back to the failed Bush agenda that placed insurance industry profits ahead of care for our seniors."