House approves prescription drug bill after contentious debate

Wednesday, June 28th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Capitol Hill-AP) -- The House has approved the Republican's Medicare prescription drug bill after a day of bitter partisan debate.

The vote was 217-to-214.

The G-O-P plan, which would cost around 40 billion dollars, allows seniors to chose from at least two prescription drug plans.

The Republican approach calls for a blend of private insurance companies and federal subsidies to spread coverage nationwide.

Democrats began the day by walking out to protest the Republican refusal to let them vote on a Democratic alternative.

They later returned to the chamber, repeatedly denouncing the Republican plan as a "sham."

Democrats wanted to put forward a plan that would have provided prescription drug coverage as part of Medicare.

They used parliamentary maneuvers to force a series of votes that added hours to the proceedings.

President Clinton has promised to veto the Republican measure.