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
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
No

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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