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House and Senate Members Rally for Real Health Care Reform

Location: Washington, DC

House and Senate Members Rally for Real Health Care Reform

Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2006

CONTACT: Brendan Daly / Jennifer Crider, Pelosi, 202-226-7616

Jim Manley / Rebecca Kirszner, Reid, 202-224-2939

Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and House and Senate Democrats today joined with Americans concerned about their health care to rally for real reform that will benefit ordinary Americans.

With 46 million Americans uninsured, premiums increasing by 70 percent, companies like Ford and GM crippled by the costs, and seniors struggling to get their prescription drugs, America needs real Health Care reform. Unfortunately, last night President Bush offered a retread of past programs that would only make Americans pay more to get less, and offered nothing to fix Medicare Drug Benefit which is hurting seniors and helping drug companies.

"The President's rhetoric on health care reform is just not credible," said Senator Reid. "He offered nothing to the millions of Americans struggling without insurance, and less to the seniors struggling to afford their medicine. The President's prescription for health care reform can be summed up in four words: pay more, get less."

"Instead of meeting the priorities of the American people, the President is offering heath care proposals that are brought to you by the same people who created the confusing, special-interest driven Medicare prescription drug bill. The President's proposals fail to reduce health care costs, fail to increase access to quality health care for the 46 million Americans who do not have health insurance, and add to our enormous deficit," said Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. "Democrats have proposed legislation that would lower the cost of health care, reduce the number of uninsured, and help seniors who are being overcharged or turned away from pharmacies because of the confusing, special-interest Medicare prescription drug bill. These are real solutions, not rhetoric."

"From the President's address last night, you would never know that millions of seniors and people with disabilities across America are worried they won't get their medicines this month," said Senator Stabenow. "The President offered up plenty for lobbyists and special interests in his State of the Union speech, but America's seniors barely warranted a mention. The Medicare Prescription Drug program has so far provided more headaches than help."

"The president failed to address the health care crisis facing millions of Americans last night, said Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis. "We must work together to provide and strengthen our safety net programs like Medicaid and eliminate health disparities that plague communities of color."

Democrats are committed to real reform that help families, not special interests, drug companies, and HMOs. We have offered a solution to fix the Medicare Drug Benefit to ensure that seniors get the medicine they need and that our state and pharmacies are reimbursed for paying the price tag of this disaster, and we believe in real action to address the growing health care crisis.

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