have traditionally favored more comprehensive prescription drug
coverage than Republicans.
plans have tended to expand the current Medicare system to include
a drug benefit, instead of relying on the private sector to
provide the insurance.
Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota wrote an open letter
to Mr. Bush in December 2002 opposing any efforts to encourage
seniors to join HMOs in order to get drug coverage.
Web site says the Democratic agenda for the 108th Congress will
include a proposal to offer more generous prescription coverage
than the bill House Republicans passed in 2002.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, speaking in opposition
to the Republican bill that passed the House in 2002, said her
party supported making prescription drug coverage an "entitlement
Democrats have backed more sweeping reforms to Medicare. Sen.
John Breaux of Louisiana has introduced legislation with Republican
leader Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee that would have expanded
the private sector's role in Medicare.
Breaux also co-sponsored a "tri-partisan" bill with independent
Jim Jeffords of Vermont and Republicans Charles Grassley of
Iowa, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Orrin Hatch of Utah. Under
the plan, the government would subsidize prescription drug coverage
provided by private prescription benefit managers. The co-sponsors
of this bill plan to bring it up again during the 108th congressional