News of the Day ... in Perspective
Bush vows to veto any Medicare drug rollback
New estimates that the new Medicare drug benefit will cost much more than initially promised—$724 billion over the next decade rather than $400 billion—have touched off a furor in Congress.
On Feb 11, President Bush threatened to veto “any attempt to limit the choices of our seniors and to take away their prescription drug coverage.” He called the Medicare expansion a “landmark achievement.”
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was surprised by the threat: “I cannot imagine the president would veto a bill that would more closely resemble what he originally wanted, a means-tested benefit to help low-income seniors who cannot afford their medicines.”
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) said that “the president’s base, the conservative base of the Republican Party, is upset with a bill that has thrown fiscal restraint out the window.”
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) wants a bill to require the government to “negotiate” prices with drug companies and to legalize importation of cheaper drugs from Canada and other countries (NY Times 2/12/05: www.nytimes.com/2005/02/12/politics/12bush.html )
“Bankruptcy” and “The President’s Health Agenda,” AAPS News March 2005: Members Only
“Big New Medicare Law” passes after midnight arm-twisting, AAPS News January 2004, D.C. supplement.
“Medicare Fallout”: implications of the Medicare expansion, AAPS News February 2004, D.C. supplement.