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Senate Passes Medicare Legislation!

Margin Sufficient to Override Expected Presidential Veto

July 10, 2008

By a vote of 69-30, the Senate on July 9 passed a critical package of Medicare beneficiary improvements.  In addition to preventing a cut in fees to physicians, the legislation (HR 6331) also makes improvement to the Part D drug benefit and establishes parity for cost sharing for outpatient mental health services.  Yesterday’s vote was on motion to cut off debate; the Senate later cleared the package by voice vote.  The margin was sufficient to override an expected presidential veto – the House passed the legislation on June 24 by a 355-59 margin, more than enough to override a veto.

A Major Victory for Medicare Beneficiaries Living With Mental Illness

The Senate vote was a tremendous win for long sought improvement to the Medicare program.  The voice of NAMI advocates from a across the country made a huge difference in securing additional support in the Senate.  In addition, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) was present for the vote, despite his ongoing treatment for brain cancer.   

Learn More

Learn how your senators voted.
Read more background information on HR 6331.

View NAMI’s letter of support for HR 6331