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    This page contains letters signed by elected officials, usually written to the President or relevant members of Congress.

03-SEN6 on May 20, 2003

Letter: a letter from 30 Senators to the Secretary of HHS
Source: Letter from 30 Senators to the Secretary of HHS
To: The Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary, Department of Health & Human Services

Dear Secretary Thompson:

As you know, prescription drug costs have been surging at double-digit rates for the last six years. The average annual increase 1999 through 2003 was a massive 16%, seven times the rate of general inflation.

These increases fall hardest on senior citizens and the uninsured. Their health needs are often great, and their low incomes often make these products unaffordable. They have no ability to use their combined purchasing power to negotiate reasonable prices. Taxpayers pay tens of billions of dollars for the purchase of drugs by Medicaid—an expense that could be reduced significantly if states are permitted to negotiate for the best prices from drug manufacturers.

As you know, the Supreme Court has just ruled that Maine's innovative program to reduce prescription drug costs for the uninsured and senior citizens is not a violation of the Medicaid law. As a result of this decision, Maine can use the combined buying power of Medicaid and individuals purchasing drugs on their own to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers. Twenty-nine other states supported the position taken by Maine, and there is broad interest in many states in initiating similar programs.

The Supreme Court's ruling, however, left open the possibility that if the Department of Health and Human Services makes a finding that the Maine program violates the Medicaid statute, the Department's action would be upheld by the Court. We urge you not to intervene to block Maine's program or similar statutes in other states that achieve savings for taxpayers, the elderly, and the uninsured. Such programs must be carefully implemented to assure that the poor are not denied access to needed drugs, but there is no justification for the federal government to deny states the ability to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of their neediest citizens.


    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 5. Question 5: Expand ObamaCare Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Health Care
  • Headline: Let states make bulk Rx purchases, and other innovations (Score: -1)

  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 03-SEN6

Daniel Akaka s1sHI Democratic Jr Senator (Retiring) 
Barbara Boxer s1sCA Democratic Jr Senator 
Maria Cantwell s1sWA Democratic Jr Senator 
Tom Carper s1sDE Democratic Sr Senator 
Hillary Clinton s1sNY Former Democratic Senator (NY); now Secretary of State 
Kent Conrad s1sND Democrat Sr Senator (Retiring) 
Tom Daschle s1sSD Former Democratic Senator 
Mark Dayton s1sMN Democratic Governor 
Chris Dodd s1sCT Democratic Sr Senator (retiring 2010) 
Byron Dorgan s1sND Democratic Jr Senator (retiring 2010) 
Richard Durbin s1sIL Democratic Sr Senator 
John Edwards s1sNC Former Democrat Senator; retired to run for President, 2004 
Tom Harkin s1sIA Democratic Jr Senator (retiring 2014) 
Daniel Inouye s1sHI Democratic Sr Senator 
Tim Johnson s1sSD Democratic Sr Senator (retiring 2014) 
Ted Kennedy s1sMA Democratic Senator (until 2009) 
John Kerry s1sMA Democratic Sr Senator 
Frank Lautenberg s1sNJ Democratic Sr Senator (retiring 2014) 
Patrick Leahy s1sVT Democratic Sr Senator 
Carl Levin s1sMI Democratic Sr Senator (retiring 2014) 
Mark Pryor s1sAR Democratic Sr Senator 
Jack Reed s1sRI Democratic Sr Senator 
Harry Reid s1sNV Democratic Sr Senator 
John Rockefeller s1sWV Democratic Sr Senator (retiring 2014) 
Charles Schumer s1sNY Democratic Sr Senator 
Debbie Stabenow s1sMI Democratic Jr Senator 
Ron Wyden s1sOR Democratic Sr Senator 



Republicans participating in 03-SEN6

Susan Collins s1sME Republican Sr Senator 
Olympia Snowe s1sME Republican Sr Senator 



Independents participating in 03-SEN6



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 27
Republicans: 2
Independents: 0


















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