What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : The Chronically Ill : S. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Table (Kill) an Amendment to Expand the Definition of "Out-of-Pocket" Expenditures on Prescription Drugs to Prevent Gaps in Coverage. (2003 senate Roll Call 233)
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S. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Table (Kill) an Amendment to Expand the Definition of "Out-of-Pocket" Expenditures on Prescription Drugs to Prevent Gaps in Coverage.
senate Roll Call 233     Jun 24, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In the prescription drug bill before the Senate, Medicare would pay half of all drug costs if those costs are between $276 and $4500 annually. Between $4501 and $5813, however, Medicare would not provide any prescription drug benefit unless the beneficiaries had spent over $3700 of their own money on prescription drugs. Furthermore, expenditures by employers on behalf of their employees would not count toward the $3700 threshold. In an effort to guard against gaps in prescription drug coverage, Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced an amendment which would have allowed employers' payments for their employees' prescription drugs to count toward the $3700 threshold. As originally drafted, the prescription drug bill would provide no coverage for drug expenditures that fall between $4501 and $5813 unless the outof- pocket threshold was exceeded. Progressives viewed the coverage gap as arbitrary and unfair and supported Rockefeller's amendment on those grounds. During debate on the Rockefeller measure, Senator Santorum (R-PA) motioned to table (strike down) the amendment and, with forty-nine Republicans voting in favor of the motion, the Rockefeller amendment was defeated 52-43.

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