A group of House Republicans looks to be digging in its heels with demands for certain provisions in the Medicare drug bill.
A spokesman for Rep. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), leader of the conservative group, would not comment on the content of a leaked draft of the letter detailing those requirements.
Toomey press secretary Dirk Fillpot says the finalized letter and the names of those who signed it will be made public at a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday morning.
According to a copy of the draft letter, addressed to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), the signers say they will vote no on a final Medicare bill that does not contain these four specific measures:
- A policy of no price controls on the U.S. drug industry to insure its continued innovation and financial health
- A policy that requires Medicare to compete with private insurers after 2010
- An expansion of healthcare savings accounts
- A cost control feature that ensures the cost will not exceed $400 billion over 10 years
In a meeting of the conferees Sept. 9, several Democratic senators emphasized their own requirements for passage of a bill.
"We will not get the legislation to the president's desk unless it passes the 60-vote test," said Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). "We need to find a solution that moves enough toward the Senate version in order to get those 60 votes."