Republicans Need to Read Their Own Bill

January 6, 2011
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), a chief deputy whip in the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives, called on Republican Members to read their own bill and admit that their repeal and reverse health reform legislation (H.R. 2) will not protect the $250 rebate seniors received in 2010 to cover the cost of prescription drugs.
At today’s House Rules Committee hearing, Congressman Steve King (R-IA) claimed that the Republican repeal and reverse act would go into effect upon future date of enactment and not be retroactive. However, the text of H.R. 2 clearly states that the Affordable Care Act would be repealed “had [it] not been enacted” – which means seniors will be required to return the $250 rebates they received last year to help cover prescription drug costs.  Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) also denied in his testimony that that seniors’ $250 checks could be at risk, despite the clear text in the Republican bill.
“Republicans are obviously in the dark about the real-world effects that their bill will have on seniors,” said Congressman Crowley. “It is time for Republicans to fill their own prescription and read – line by line – their health repeal and reverse legislation.  The facts are the facts.  The Republican repeal and reverse legislation will explode the deficit by $230 billion over the next 10 years, and it will force seniors to pay back the $250 provided to them last year to help cover their health care needs.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, seniors who were caught in the prescription drug coverage gap, or “donut hole”, received a $250 rebate in 2010. Roughly 3 million seniors have received this rebate check.  Seniors are also scheduled to receive additional discounts on prescription drugs so by 2020 any gap in coverage will be fully closed. The Republicans’ repeal and reverse legislation would cancel these rebates as if they never existed – forcing millions of seniors to repay the federal government for the money they have already received.
Congressman Crowley is a seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and is one of nine chief deputy whips in the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives. Crowley has spearheaded the call for Republican members of Congress who support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to “walk the walk” by declining their own taxpayer-subsidized health care and forgo enrollment in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).