To those in Washington who say that “the sky is falling” on health care reform legislation, “I have to repeat, revive an old saying we had from the campaign: Yes, we can. We are going to get this done,” Obama said.
The president delivered his remarks at a White House event at which he announced an “understanding” in which the pharmaceutical industry would, assuming health reform legislation passes, reduce prices on brand-name drugs for low- and middle-income retirees receiving drug coverage through Medicare Part D.
The discount would apply to costs that fall within the so-called “doughnut hole”—a gap in coverage that kicks in for costs between $2,700 and $6,100.
Progress in developing health care reform legislation is moving slower than congressional leaders predicted earlier.
For example, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said on several occasions that his panel would produce a bill by mid-June, with the full Senate completing action by the end of June.
The Finance Committee, however, has yet to unveil a bill. In the House, only a draft discussion measure has been developed and no committee votes have been scheduled so far on the proposal.