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Dems take on pharma in push for Medicare cuts

The Hill, April 17, 2013
Congressional Democrats ratcheted up a years-long feud with the pharmaceutical industry Tuesday as they proposed significant cuts in Medicare's payments to drug companies. Democrats in both the House and Senate will introduce bills this week to lower drug prices for the poorest seniors, saving the government roughly $140 billion in Medicare costs. The pharmaceutical industry strongly opposes the proposal, and has kept past iterations from even coming up for a vote. But Democrats said the latest push will benefit from the intense political pressure to cut entitlement spending. "What's different now is we can no longer afford this waste," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said. "This gives new meaning to the phrase 'low-hanging fruit.'"