Some Conservative House Republicans Hope To Revise Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, Lawmaker Says
Some House Republicans in the 109th Congress hope to "roll back" a large portion of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit scheduled to take effect in 2006, among other "conservative goals," Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) told National Press Club members at a breakfast briefing on Wednesday, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. According to Pence, chair of the Republican Study Committee -- a group of more than 100 conservative House members -- many conservative House Republicans hope to make the Medicare prescription drug benefit a program for only low-income beneficiaries, rather than a "one-size-fits-all entitlement."
He added, "The fate of the Republican majority ... will be largely determined by whether or not we rediscover those principles of limited government that more than anything else propelled us to majority status."
However, conservative House Republicans might face opposition from GOP leaders. John Feehery, spokesperson for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), said of the Medicare prescription drug benefit, "Given a chance to work, it will save money in the long run" (Lester, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/6).