Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE NATION

White House Rejects Democrats' Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

July 19, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration on Thursday rejected a 10-year, $594-billion plan by Senate Democrats to provide a Medicare prescription drug benefit, saying it could lead to hefty new taxes on Americans.

"The supporters have not proposed any way to pay for the bill's unsustainable costs," the administration said in a statement.

Democrats initially estimated the bill would cost up to $500 billion. The Congressional Budget Office late Thursday put the figure at $594 billion but said that could drop by about $10 billion if Congress passes a bill making generic drugs more available.

The administration said the cost of the Democratic plan would require the government to increase taxes, cut all government programs or drain the Medicare trust fund early.

The White House instead supports a $370-billion plan put forth by a group of Republicans, Democrats and independents.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said the administration's position "lets down the millions of Americans struggling with high drug prices and who deserve a Medicare prescription drug benefit that truly helps all seniors."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|