What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs : S 812. Prescription Drugs/Vote on GOP Version of Prescription Drug Bill Which Would Provide Seniors a Drug Discount Card In Lieu of a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
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S 812. Prescription Drugs/Vote on GOP Version of Prescription Drug Bill Which Would Provide Seniors a Drug Discount Card In Lieu of a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
senate Roll Call 189     Jul 24, 2002
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

Though most in Congress agreed that something had to be done about rising prescription drug costs for seniors, there was great disagreement about specifics. Hagel (RNE), Ensign (R-NV), and Gramm (R-TX) proposed a plan that would make available a voluntary drug discount card for Medicare patients and set a sliding scale based on income for out-of-pocket expenses. Progressives opposed this as inadequate to address the problem, and too wedded to the private sector. They argued that only the government could guarantee cheap drugs to all seniors. The Hagel-Ensign-Gramm proposal changed the spending totals of the 2002 Budget Resolution, so under the rules of the Senate a point of order could be brought against it. It took 60 votes to waive this point of order. Progressives voted against it because they supported the point of order and opposed the plan itself. The vote was 51-48. The point of order was sustained, the Progressive position prevailed, and the Hagel-Ensign-Gramm plan fell.

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