What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs : S. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Improve Drug Coverage for the Nation's Poor.
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S. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Improve Drug Coverage for the Nation's Poor.
senate Roll Call 240     Jun 24, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

In the Senate prescription drug bill, Medicare would pay half of all drug costs if those costs are between $276 and $4500 annually. Individuals who spend between $4501 and $5813 for prescription drugs, however, would not receive any benefit unless they had spent over $3700 of their own money on prescription drugs. For lower-income individuals, this gap in drug coverage could potentially prove quite costly and may prevent them from receiving the medication they need to stay healthy. During debate on the prescription drug bill, Senator Dodd (D-CT) proposed an amendment which would have covered 50% of drug costs for individuals earning between 160% and 250% above the poverty line whose expenditures on drugs fell within the gap of drug coverage (as originally drafted, the prescription drug bill provided no coverage for drug expenditures that exceeded $4501 and coverage would not resume until expenditures exceeded $5813). Progressives supported Dodd's amendment and argued that the nation's poor should not be left without drug coverage based on the arbitrary cutoffs in coverage contained in the underlying legislation. With solid opposition from Republicans and four Democrats, the Dodd amendment was rejected on a vote of 41-54.

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