Senate pre-emption…

The Senate Democrats have pre-empted the House of Representatives vote against for reform with a sharply-worded letter saying any repeal effort is simply dead–and taken the opportunity to spotlight just one of the benefits of the new law:

The new law provides that seniors will receive a 50-percent discount on the brand name drugs that they purchase while stuck in the “donut hole” and thus will save them thousands of dollars starting in 2011. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, seniors who have high prescription drug spending will save as much as $12,300 over the next 10 years and seniors with low drug costs will save an average of $2,400 over 10 years.

This is no minor reform. But almost as soon as it has taken effect, it is already in jeopardy.

The incoming House Republican majority that you lead has made the repeal of the federal health care law one of its chief goals. We urge you to consider the unintended consequences that the law’s repeal would have on a number ofpopular consumer protections that help middle class Americans. The “donut hole” fix is just one measure that would be threatened by a repeal effort. Taking this benefit away from seniors would be irresponsible and reckless at a time when it is becoming harder and harder for seniors to afford a healthy retirement.

If House Republicans move forward with a repeal of the health care law that threatens consumer benefits like the “donut hole” fix, we will block it in the Senate. This proposal deserves a chance to work. It is too important to be treated as collateral damage in a partisan mission to repeal health care.

We’ll do more of this in the next week…

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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