HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said today neither chamber of Congress has secured enough votes to pass the Medicare reform and prescription drug bill, "but every day and every hour we're getting closer." The bill, which Thompson supports, could go to the House floor by tomorrow. Thompson said he "can't imagine Congress adjourning" without passing the bill, and he predicted it would pass with a "comfortable majority." Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that enacting the legislation would cost the federal government $395 billion over 10 years and would increase federal revenue by $500 million over that period. Lawmakers have been working to keep the bill's estimated cost under $400 billion. -- by Jeff Tieman
Medicare bill still needs more support to pass, Thompson says
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