What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs : S. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Table (Kill) an Amendment to Provide a Medicare Drug Benefit In Areas Where Private Insurers Are Not Offering Prescription Drug Coverage.
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S. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Table (Kill) an Amendment to Provide a Medicare Drug Benefit In Areas Where Private Insurers Are Not Offering Prescription Drug Coverage.
senate Roll Call 238     Jun 24, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

As originally drafted, the prescription drug bill under consideration in the Senate relied solely on private insurers to provide drug coverage either through Medicare or through new private health networks (which function much like preferred provider organizations, or PPO's) if seniors switched out of Medicare. In rural or economically-depressed areas, however, private insurers may stay out of the area and thereby nullify any potential cost savings on drug coverage borne through private competition. To correct this potentially harmful effect of market behavior on the availability and cost of prescription drug coverage in poorer areas, Senator Lincoln (D-AR) proposed a measure which would require Medicare to provide a "fallback" drug coverage option in areas that are not served by two or more private insurers. Progressives endorsed Lincoln's amendment as a way to insure that lower-income individuals would not be adversely-affected by a lack of drug coverage options in their area. During debate on Lincoln's measure, Senator Santorum (R-PA) motioned to table (strike down) the Lincoln amendment. The tabling motion passed 51-45 and the amendment was defeated.

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