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House report: New medicare drug plans fail to provide meaningful drug discounts


House report: New medicare drug plans fail to provide meaningful drug discounts

Republican leaders and Bush Administration officials have repeatedly promised that the new prescription drug benefit being offered through Medicare Part D would benefit seniors and protect federal taxpayers by keeping drug costs down. According to former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, the health insurance companies sponsoring the Medicare drug plans “are going to be able to purchase in bulk with the pharmaceutical companies and hold down prices.” When Democrats argued that Medicare should be authorized to negotiate directly with drug companies for low prices, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist rejected the proposal, claiming that “competition through the private sector, through bulk purchasing and negotiation, is a more effective means to hold down prices.”
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