What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Pharmaceutical Industry : S 812. Prescription Drugs/Vote to Offer Seniors' a Prescription Drug Benefit Through Unregulated Private Insurance Plans Rather than Medicare. (2002 senate Roll Call 187)
 Who: All Members
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S 812. Prescription Drugs/Vote to Offer Seniors' a Prescription Drug Benefit Through Unregulated Private Insurance Plans Rather than Medicare.
senate Roll Call 187     Jul 23, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

A consensus had developed in Congress that prescription drug costs for seniors were spiraling out of control. But there was a disagreement over what to do about the problem. Grassley (R-IA) proposed a plan that would operate largely by regulating private sector insurance. It would cap monthly premiums for prescription drug plans at $24, set a $250 deductible and a 50% cost share between $251 and $3450, and set an absolute cap of $3700 per year for out-of-pocket expenses. But Progressives complained that this would not ensure the same benefit for all seniors, and would not even ensure that a benefit would be provided for the millions of Americans without health insurance. Grassley's plan-submitted as an amendment to a drug patent bill-changed the totals allocated under the 2002 Budget Resolution passed by both houses of Congress. This meant a point of order could be brought against the plan, requiring 60 votes to dismiss. Progressives voted against the waiver of this point of order, because it was the equivalent of voting against the amendment itself. The vote was 48-51, the waiver failed, and Grassley's plan was rejected.

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