Pryor, Lincoln Support Senate Medicare Drug Benefit - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

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Pryor, Lincoln Support Senate Medicare Drug Benefit

June 26, 2003 - Posted at: 10:34 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON -- The Senate version of a bill to provide a prescription drug benefit through Medicare has the support of Arkansas' senate delegation.

US House and Senate versions differ widely, particularly in provisions to encourage private competition to provide the benefits.

The bills would give Medicare beneficiaries the new benefit through private companies with government subsidies.

Senator David Pryor says he was not sold on the Senate version until amendments were added to assure rural patients access to local pharmacies in and close loopholes allowing drug companies to help delay approval of generic drugs.

Senate Democrats are pressing for more a generous prescription drug benefit, but few of their proposals are expected to succeed.

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