Rx DRUG BENEFIT: Dems Prod Roth to Move Ahead with Plan
Democrats are pushing Senate Finance Committee Chair William Roth (R-Del.) to press forward with his Medicare prescription drug benefit plan, the New York Times reports. Concerned that Roth is "retreat[ing] or perhaps even run[ning] away from his commitment," Finance Committee Democrats in a letter this week urged Roth to convene members "as early as possible, perhaps before the August recess" for a vote on the plan he proposed earlier this month. Democrats have praised much of Roth's plan, which would provide a nationwide, uniform drug benefit administered by the government. According to a Roth spokesperson, the senator currently is revising his proposal and will unveil the changes Thursday in a closed-door committee meeting, but the committee will not consider the legislation formally before the August recess. However, James Jordan, political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, doubted Roth's intentions, calling the proposal a "cynical political move." He said, "Mr. Roth's bill has never had any chance of real progress in the Senate, and he's done little if anything to ensure progress for the legislation" (Pear, 7/25).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.