Bush Administration Will Not Submit Technical Corrections To Medicare Law Before Deadline Next Week
The Bush administration will not submit technical corrections to the Medicare prescription drug bill to Congress before next week's deadline, The Hill reports. Under a provision of the new Medicare law, HHS must submit technical corrections to Congress within six months. An unnamed spokesperson for the administration said no proposal would be submitted this year because officials want to see how the law is implemented before making changes. The law's prescription drug benefit will not begin until 2006, and its drug discount card went into effect this week. In addition, HHS officials said they want to evaluate stakeholder input before considering technical changes to the law, according to the spokesperson. According to The Hill, lobbyists and sources on Capitol Hill said that even if HHS had submitted a proposal to Congress, Republican leaders would have been unlikely to act on the bill this election year because Democrats "would likely seize on any opening to force votes" on issues such as allowing HHS to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs directly with pharmaceutical firms (Marre, The Hill, 6/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.