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Market expansion proponents

Executive Summary

Underneath the clearly demarcated party lines of the debate, there were some out-of-character comments. Minority Leader Rep. Gephardt, for example, became a cheerleader for wider drug use during his attack on the bill. Explaining why the drug program should be a benefit and not insurance, Gephardt declared, "when we come to prescription drug benefits, everybody makes a claim, because everybody needs prescription drugs." California Democrat Rep. Stark got caught up in the description of a more generous Democratic benefit. "We are begging to spend this surplus and not waste it on a relief from the inheritance tax...With that money alone, we could provide an added benefit at a low enough premium and eliminate the copay so that we could include all the Medicare beneficiaries in a generous, dependable benefit with a reliable premium that would be the same across the country and allow the seniors to get their drugs from any provider in the country"

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