What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : The Chronically Ill : S. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Reduce Monthly Premiums for a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. (2003 senate Roll Call 254)
 Who: All Members
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S. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Reduce Monthly Premiums for a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
senate Roll Call 254     Jun 26, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Congress had already appropriated $12 billion for a prescription drug benefit prior to consideration of this proposal but had not specified how that money should be spent. One area of contention during the debate on the prescription drug bill, then, was how best to spend that $12 billion. While Republicans favored using that money to subsidize private drug benefit plans, Democrats and Progressives wanted to put that money into a Medicare prescription drug benefit. The subject of this vote was an amendment by Senator Dorgan (D-ND) which would have used the money to reduce the monthly premiums for individuals enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug benefit plan. If the underlying legislation becomes law, private insurers would be responsible for offering drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries; those beneficiaries, however, would pay a monthly premium of $35 as well as a yearly deductible. Progressives supported Dorgan's amendment as a way to reduce monthly premiums for privately-managed drug coverage through Medicare. Republicans voted unanimously against Dorgan's amendment and with the help of seven Democrats the measure was rejected 39-59.

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