U.S. House of Representatives record vote 23, 110th Congress, Session 1

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Scored vote

Scorecard: Americans for Democratic Action 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Passage of a bill requiring the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department to negotiate prices with drug companies for drugs covered under Medicare Part D. The bill would not authorize HHS to establish or require a particular formulary."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.adaction.org/pages/publications/voting-records.php)

Scored vote

Scorecard: Drum Major Institute 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Often living on fixed incomes, America’s seniors struggle to cope with prescription drug prices that increase every year. The new Medicare prescription drug plan was ostensibly designed to save these seniors money on needed medications. But the plan provides far less savings than it could—both for the seniors it covers and for the taxpayers who bear the costs of the new plan—because it fails to take advantage of the federal government’s ability to negotiate for better prices by buying drugs in bulk. For example, if the federal government were to buy a million pills of cholesterol-lowering medication, enough for every Medicare recipient in the country who has a prescription, they could receive a very low price because of the huge quantity. Instead of realizing these savings, the program relies on individual insurance plans to make drug purchases. Because none of these individual insurers has the purchasing power of the federal government, the result is a less efficient system with higher prices. Most industrialized countries, including Canada, use the government’s bulk purchasing power to bargain for better drug prices. Domestically, the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) also uses this common-sense practice to reduce its costs. Studies suggest that the prices negotiated by the VA for many drugs are substantially lower than those offered under the new Medicare plan. Middle-class Americans, whether they are senior citizens, taxpayers or both, cannot afford to see the federal government squander this opportunity to rein in the ever-escalating costs of prescription drugs."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.drummajorinstitute.org/library/report.php?ID=63)

Scored vote

Scorecard: U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: Nay

Description:

"Despite strong opposition by the Chamber, the House passed H.R. 4, the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007, by a vote of 255-170. The bill would have not only removed the non-interference provision, a vital component of the Medicare Modernization Act, but would have gone further to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices. Ensuring robust competition in the overwhelmingly popular Medicare Part D program is among the Chamber’s highest priorities for meeting the health care needs of retirees, employees, and businesses across the country. This program allows pharmacy benefit managers, who provide drug coverage for 190 million Americans, to negotiate drug prices while offering competing versions and multiple plan offerings to seniors. This protects Medicare beneficiaries from government-imposed price controls. The Senate considered similar legislation, S. 3, that would have removed, but would not have required, the non-interference provision. Neither were signed into law."

(Original scorecard available at http://www.uschamber.com/issues/legislators/07htv_house.htm

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