(Ms. SCHWARTZ asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Central to finding a uniquely American solution to our Nation's health care challenges is a focus on strengthening Medicare for our Nation's seniors.
Our health care reform efforts renew our commitment to the health and security of America's seniors by ensuring the long-term fiscal health of Medicare and improving the quality of care for our seniors. The House bill adds valuable new benefits for our seniors and improves access to primary care.
I strongly advocated for ending the copayment that seniors pay for preventive services. Right now seniors pay up to 20 percent of the cost of services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and vaccines. As of January 1, 2011, seniors will no longer have to pay the copay for preventive services. This is a major win for America's seniors.
Health care reform also sets us on a path to close the coverage gap in the Medicare part D prescription drug plan known as the ``doughnut hole.'' In 2011, Medicare will pay $500 more and will continue to add benefits until we eliminate this gap in coverage for drug services.
Health care reform is a win for seniors. Now is the time to act.
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