WASHINGTON — By a veto-proof majority, the U.S. Senate yesterday approved a bill to delay regulations that would have resulted in drastic cuts in Medicaid reimbursements. The House had approved a similar measure by a 355-59 vote two weeks ago. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association, both in Alexandria, Va., and the Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, Va., all had worked for the bill’s passage. The bill contains provisions that will delay Medicaid cuts to pharmacy reimbursements, ensure prompt payment of Medicare pharmacy claims, encourage e-prescribing and protect patient access to diabetic supplies, NACDS reported. “With Senate and House votes displaying a veto-proof majority, we urge President Bush to sign the bill quickly,” said Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of NACDS. The industry had estimated that 11,000 pharmacies could close because of the Medicaid cuts.
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