Hanabusa And Schatz Differ Over Making Drug Companies Pay

In a move that highlights a key policy difference with Sen. Brian Schatz, Colleen Hanabusa is scheduled to be a guest speaker on a telephone “Town Hall” meeting sponsored by an organization opposing a bill co-sponsored by Schatz.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. John Rockefeller, D-W.Va., would try to reduce federal Medicare spending and cut the overall federal debt by making drug companies pay a rebate to the federal government. Among its supporters is the AARP, which argues the rebates are preferable to other Medicare cost-cutting measures like raising the co-pays or increasing age requirements for Medicare recipients.

However, Hanabusa, who is running against Schatz for his Senate seat, has opposed the idea, signing a letter last year saying drug companies would pass on the cost of the rebate to consumers.

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