What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs : S 812. Prescription Drugs/Vote to Provide All Seniors with a Prescription Drug Benefit Through Medicare.
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S 812. Prescription Drugs/Vote to Provide All Seniors with a Prescription Drug Benefit Through Medicare.
senate Roll Call 186     Jul 23, 2002
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

One of the issues Congress wrestled with in mid-2002 was how to help seniors pay for the rising cost of prescription drugs. Graham (D-FL) and Smith (R-OR) proposed a plan that would cover almost all drug costs for low-income seniors and those individuals whose costs exceeded $4000 a year. Moreover, all seniors would receive at least a five percent discount on prescription medication and the assurance that the government would help if their bills were "catastrophic." Progressives, who felt something needed to be done about the spiraling cost of prescription drugs, supported this plan. But because the plan increased the amount allotted to a prescription drug benefit in the earlier Budget Resolution, a point of order could be brought against it that could only be waived with 60 votes. Progressives favored the motion to waive, because it would allow the bill to come to a final vote. The waiver fell eight votes short, 52-47, and so the point of order was sustained, and the drug plan failed.

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