Sen. Blanche Lincoln Introduces Legislation To Revise New Medicare Law
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) on Thursday proposed a bill that would eliminate from the new Medicare law health savings accounts and financial incentives to encourage private health plans to participate in the program, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. The legislation, cosponsored by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), also would allow U.S. residents to purchase medications from Canada and allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Lincoln, who voted in favor of the Medicare law last November, said, "I'm not in any way backtracking on what I've done so far. All you have to do is look at the increasing number of low-income seniors who will get a much better prescription drug package." She said that she proposed the new bill in response to criticism about the Medicare law from Arkansas residents in five town-hall meetings earlier this year. Lincoln said, "There's nothing on here I haven't supported in the past. I'm not saying anything new" (Freking, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/23).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.