I can’t wait for the Bush administration’s attempt to sell their no compromise position onthis to the American people…
WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 — The Bush administration said on Sunday that it would strenuously oppose one of the Democrats’ top priorities for the new Congress: legislation authorizing the government to negotiate with drug companies to secure lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.
In an interview, Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of health and human services, said he saw no prospect of compromise on the issue.
“In politics,” Mr. Leavitt said, “most specific issues like this are a disguise for a larger difference. Government negotiation of drug prices does not work unless you have a program completely run by the government. Democrats say they want the government to negotiate prices. What they really want is government-run health care.”
Federal price negotiations would unravel the whole structure of the Medicare drug benefit, which relies on competing private plans, Mr. Leavitt said.