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Pelosi: At Midnight, Bush Prescription Drug Tax Begins

Location: Washington, DC

Pelosi: At Midnight, Bush Prescription Drug Tax Begins

Washington D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on tonight's Medicare prescription drug program enrollment deadline:

"Seniors and people with disabilities have been counting down the days until the Bush prescription drug tax begins. But at midnight tonight, the countdown will stop, and the penalty pain will start - those that haven't signed up may face higher drug prices, forever.

"After months of ignoring the pressing needs of seniors, Republicans are running for political cover by claiming they want to waive the penalty they imposed. Waiving the penalty does not do enough - it does not help the millions of seniors and people with disabilities who still haven't enrolled in a plan. Serious problems still exist under the latest Republican proposal: Americans will be locked out of the benefit until January 2007, denying them access to life-saving prescription drugs and beneficiaries will not be able switch plans and therefore, they may be stuck in a plan that does not work for them.

"While the benefit works for pharmaceutical companies and big business HMOs, it isn't doing enough to make prescription drugs more affordable for our seniors. That's why Democrats are working to improve the flawed Republican prescription drug program - and we want to do it today. Democrats stand united to extend the deadline, waive the Bush prescription drug tax, and allow seniors the opportunity to opt out of a plan if it doesn't work for their health needs."

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