Bill Would Let States Require Rx Discounts for Some Residents
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said he will introduce legislation early this week that would allow states to negotiate discounts on prescription drugs for U.S. residents with no drug coverage and incomes less than 300% of the federal poverty level, the Washington Post reports.
The program would include insured people with limited or no prescription drug coverage, as well as Medicare beneficiaries who reach the coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Van Hollen's proposal is based on a bill introduced by the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), which "languished in committee" after the senator's death in 2001, according to the Post.
A CMS spokesperson said the agency would not comment on the bill until it has been introduced. The legislation is "likely to be a factor in the battle over health care" between President Bush and Democratic lawmakers, the Post reports (Rein, Washington Post, 7/29).