What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Tax Breaks for the Rich : S. Con. Res. 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Vote to Insure that All Health Plans Offer Seniors Some Form of Prescription Drug Coverage. (2003 senate Roll Call 82)
 Who: All Members
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S. Con. Res. 23. Fiscal 2004 Budget Resolution/Vote to Insure that All Health Plans Offer Seniors Some Form of Prescription Drug Coverage.
senate Roll Call 82     Mar 25, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

The costs of prescription drugs have increased dramatically in recent years and many senior citizens are now unable to afford those drugs. In the Bush Administration's prescription drug proposal, eighty-nine percent of seniors who are in feefor- service plans (health plans which charge based on services rendered) would not receive any prescription drug benefits. Seniors in managed care plans, conversely, do receive such benefits. This situation in effect forces seniors into managed care plans, many of which provide inferior care to fee-for-service plans, if they want to receive assistance to pay for prescription drugs. To insure that all seniors' health care plans offer some form of prescription drug benefit, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) offered an amendment to the 2004 budget resolution requiring that a Medicare prescription drug benefit be available to everyone regardless of whether they are enrolled in a fee-for-service or a managed care health plan. Progressives supported the Baucus amendment because prescription drugs play an important role in providing proper medical care and should be available to all seniors irrespective of the health plan to which they belong. On an almost strictly party-line vote, Republicans were able to defeat the Baucus amendment which failed to attract majority support on 46-51 vote.

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