Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on a key immediate benefit of health insurance reform for America's seniors. Starting today, one-time, tax-free checks of $250 will be mailed to tens of thousands of seniors who have fallen into the "donut hole' prescription drug coverage gap. These checks will continue to be mailed monthly over the next several months as seniors enter the coverage gap, with an estimated 4 million seniors receiving this help:
"The first round of America's seniors who are affected by a gap in prescription drug coverage will soon start to see the tangible benefits of health insurance reform -- arriving directly in their mailboxes. These rebate checks mailed today are a down payment on reducing prescription drug costs for seniors. They mark the first step, under the Affordable Care Act, toward closing the "donut hole' coverage gap completely, lowering health care costs for seniors, improving care, strengthening the solvency of Medicare, and giving seniors more control over their health care.
"In calling for repeal of health reform, Congressional Republicans are asking us to cancel these checks and return us to a system of higher prescription drug costs, shrinking benefits, and insecurity for our seniors. They are placing the profits of the insurance industry ahead of the care of our seniors. They are even fighting efforts to educate seniors about the latest fraud and scams -- even as criminals accelerate their efforts around reform.
"This Congress will not be swayed by their cynical politics. We will keep the promise of Medicare -- which every senior has earned -- and stay on-course to greater affordability, better care, and increased stability for seniors now and in generations to come."