updated 4/16/2007 9:21:19 AM ET 2007-04-16T13:21:19

Senate Democrats are looking to change a key provision of the Medicare drug law.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

They want to let the government negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries, saying it could lower the cost of prescription drugs for the elderly and the disabled.

The Medicare drug law that Republicans pushed through four years ago prohibits the secretary of Health and Human Services from getting involved in negotiations between drug makers, insurers and pharmacies.

Most Republicans believe there's no need for government involvement, saying the program is costing less than expected and Medicare beneficiaries say they're happy with it.

They also note that Congressional Budget Office says government involvement would have a "negligible impact."

The House passed a similar bill earlier this year, though it requires the government to negotiate. The bill the Senate takes up this week only allows it.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments