Well, I guess Nelson's "partially stick it to PhRMA by returning to 2003-law regarding dual-eligibles" amendment never had a chance. Baucus, Carper, and Menendez (D-BristolMeyersSquibb et al.) voted no, as did the only reachable Republican, Olympia Snowe. Nelson's amendment would have freed up $80 billion in revenue over the 10-year budget window, enough to completely close the donut hole in part D and still leave $30 billion for other purposes.
It's a travesty that costal state Dems like Menendez and Carper can't bring themselves to vote for this when interior moderates like Kent Conrad and Blanche Lincoln can. Yes, New Jersey is home to several large pharmaceutical firms, but it's also in the top quartile of spending per dual-eligible. Surely governor Corzine would be pleased to spend less and still get the same service.
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