Bush will Veto Medicare reforms
Thursday, January 11, 2007
(SNN Washington) President Bush has promised that he would veto legislation requiring the government to negotiate for lower prices from drug companies under Medicare.
A Democrat drafted bill in the House is up for debate today and tomorrow. The bill is a priority item for Democrats in the 100 hour legislative push.
However, the administration does not think forcing drug companies to bid or "compete" would help the Medicare system. "Government interference impedes competition, limits access to lifesaving drugs, reduces convenience for beneficiaries and ultimately increases costs to taxpayers, beneficiaries and all American citizens alike," the administration said in a written statement.
Democrats have said they would use the savings produced by the negotiations to reduce a coverage gap that is common in many plans. However, many Republicans say that they enjoyed screwing over seniors. "What we set out to do, we accomplished," said Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., during a hearing Thursday about the drug benefit. "We had a success, a very big success."
A survey of seniors for the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that about 81 percent of seniors want to let the government use its buying power to negotiate drug prices, including 67 percent who said they strongly favor such negotiations.