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Sen. Nelson: Amending Health Care Reform

September 22, 2009

BillNelsonThe St. Petersburg Times reports,

After months of closed-door negotiations, Sen. Max Baucus’ health care bill, which has drawn mixed reviews since its unveiling last week, will be heard this morning in the Senate Finance Committee. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said he is prepared to offer 14 amendments, including one to protect proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage.

According to his office, more than 900,000 Florida seniors, or one-third of the state’s Medicare beneficiaries, have these plans.In Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties alone, an average of 41 percent of all Medicare enrollees have them.

More than 560 amendments have been offered, so the committee has a tough road ahead.

Nelson said he filed an amendment to require that drugmakers provide rebates to a major part of the Medicare program, like they do for Medicaid. The Congressional Budget Office says this could raise more than enough money to cover the current gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, known as the donut hole.

Bill Nelson preps for health care debate [St. Petersburg Times]

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