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Bush would veto Medicare bill-White House

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) The White House today threatened a veto of a bill that would overhaul the Medicare prescription drug law to require the government to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies.

''If this bill is presented to the president, he will veto,'' White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters.

The Medicare bill is a key priority of the new Democratic Congress. Snow spoke as the US House of Representatives was expected to vote later in the day on the legislation.

Democrats contend that instructing the government to negotiate prices would save money both for the government and for older Americans covered by the Medicare program.

But the White House and many Republicans in Congress say it would limit the availability of drugs while achieving no cost savings. Snow cited a Congressional Budget Office study that said the negotiations would not save money.

Reuters BDP VP0030

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