What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Insurance Industry : H.R. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote on Democratic Substitute Bill Which Would Provide Prescription Drug Coverage Though the Medicare Program (Rather Than the Private Sector) and Would Not Contain Any Gaps In Drug Coverage.
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H.R. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote on Democratic Substitute Bill Which Would Provide Prescription Drug Coverage Though the Medicare Program (Rather Than the Private Sector) and Would Not Contain Any Gaps In Drug Coverage.
house Roll Call 330     Jun 26, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

Many senior citizens-and especially those living on fixed incomes-are unable to afford the rising costs of prescription drugs. While both Democrats and Republicans have attempted to solve the problem, the two parties have very different ideas about how best to achieve a positive outcome for America's seniors. Democrats, including Progressives, for instance, favor adding a prescription drug benefit to the Medicare health insurance program. Republicans, conversely, support proposals which provide prescription drug coverage to seniors through private insurance companies. During debate on Republican-drafted prescription drug legislation, Congressman Rangel (D-NY) proposed a substitute bill on behalf of the Democrats which would have established a prescription drug benefit through Medicare with a $25 monthly premium and a $100 yearly deductible. The Democratic plan would have covered eighty percent of all drug costs up to $2000 and all costs in excess of $2000. Moreover, the Democratic proposal would not contain any gaps in drug coverage (the Republican drug bill, conversely, provides no coverage for drug expenditures above $2000 and below $4900). Progressives supported the Democratic bill because it provided more generous coverage to seniors, did not rely on private companies to provide drug coverage (the Republican bill offers drug coverage solely through the private sector), and did not contain any gaps in drug coverage. Progressives supported the Democrats' public sector approach because, in their view, the Republicans' private-sector approach to drug coverage would weaken the Medicare program and subject the health care and drug coverage of seniors to the whims of the free market. Republicans voted unanimously against the Democratic drug bill and, with the help of twenty-nine Democrats, the proposal was defeated 175-255.

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