Friday, January 12, 2007

House Passes Medicare Drug Pricing Reform

House Democrats kept to their agenda today and approved by a vote of 255-170 with the support of 24 Republicans legislation requiring the government to negotiate drug prices for the Medicare prescription drug program. This legislation corrects one of the greatest ripoffs of all time during the GOP-led Congress. When the GOP passed the Medicare prescription drug program in 2003, they blocked the government from negotiating drug prices as it does with the Medicaid program in a sell out to the pharmaceutical industry. Democrats believe the change will produce billions in taxpayer savings, but the Bush Administration claims the current system is working and the change will not produce any savings.

This vote captured the support of one Indiana Republican. Rep. Dan Burton (R) crossed party lines to support the change. Burton has been a frequent critic of the pharmaceutical industry. He believes mercury put in vaccines by many drug-makers is responsible for autism, an assertion disputed by the makers of vaccines. Interestingly, Rep. Mike Pence (R), who claims to be a budget hawk, voted against the legislation. Once again, Rep. Steve Buyer (R) was absent for the vote. All Democrats in the House voted for the bill.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure how this will affect my cost,insurance,co-pay,deductibles, but the over-all cost of drugs of drugs to run the medicare program seems to be the overriding benefit. This would help the government to sustain the part D section for long term. It could be a large savings.

Anonymous said...

It was a lobbying boondoggle from the start.

The administration of the world's greatest health care system is completely and utterly broken down.

This vote was welcome and it's a good retreat to a good position. But until we get uniform national health care, it's all just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titaninc.

I'm hugely pro-market, but the system on which people depend for their very lives, is just ridiculously broken. Can't be fixed as-is. Only radical change will help.