The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 22, 2003 - 5A
Continued debate slows down
prescription drug bill's approval
WASHINGTON (AP) - Talks to
find a compromise on a Medicare pre-
scription drug bill are so plagued by
policy differences and personality
clashes that Republican leaders are
considering setting deadlines to prod
bargainers toward a deal this fall.
More than two months of formal
talks have yielded general agreement
on items such as establishing an inter-
im drug discount card program for
Medicare clients. Even in some of
these areas, however, critical details
remain unresolved; for example,
whether to make physician participa-
tion in a new electronic prescription
program voluntary or mandatory.
Also, bargainers have yet to delve
into more fundamental differences
between House and Senate versions
of the bill. Both are designed to pro-
vide a prescription drug benefit
while injecting competition into the
government's health care program
for older Americans.
"We're considering setting a dead-
line," said Rep. Roy Blunt, (R-Mo.),
third-ranking member of the House
Asked about the possibility, Sen-
ate Majority Leader Bill Frist said
that decision has not yet been made.
At the same time, the Tennessee
Republican added, "I could see cer-
tain benchmarks being set" to has-
Frist said he remains committed to
passage thi, 'ear of a "comprehensive
bill, not scaled-back," to cost $400 bil-
lion over a decade. House Speaker
Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has told fellow
Republicans he holds the same view.
At the White House, spokesman
Scott McClellan said Friday that Presi-
dent Bush, too, wants a comprehensive
bill this year.
Given the slow pace of the talks on a
compromise bill, and the complaints
that some lawmakers reported hearing
over the summer that the legislation is
not generous enough, possible alterna-
tives are being floated.
Several cost-conscious conservatives
wrote Hastert last week that if the
broad compromise efforts falter, "we
would support a basic drug subsidy for
low-income seniors and a catastrophic
coverage for middle-income seniors"
rather than a "universal, unlimited"
benefit for all.
While formal negotiations plod,
Frist and several other top GOP
senators meet regularly with Demo-
cratic Sens. Max Baucus of Mon-
tana and John Breaux of Louisiana.
Thus far, they have focused on pos-
sible ground rules for a new era of
competition between managed care
plans and traditional Medicare.
University of Oregon students cheer in Autzen Stadium during the football game against Michigan
on Saturday in Eugene, Ore.
finishes on Jupiter
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - NASA's
aging Galileo spacecraft plunged into
Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere yesterday,
bringing a deliberately fiery conclusion
to a 14-year, $1.5 billion exploration of
the solar system's largest planet and its
The unmanned spacecraft, traveling
at nearly 108,000 mph, was torn apart
and vaporized by the heat and friction
of its fall through the clouds after it
dove into the atmosphere at 2:57 p.m.
At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
hundreds of scientists, engineers and
their families counted down the last sec-
onds before the spacecraft ended its 2.8
billion-mile journey from Earth.
"We haven't lost a spacecraft, we've
gained a new stepping stone in explo-
ration," said Torrence Johnson, the mis-
sion's project scientist.
Rosaly Lopes, another scientist on
the mission, called Galileo's descent
"a spectacular end to a spectacular
Despite the glitches that plagued
Galileo since its 1989 launch aboard
the space shuttle Atlantis, it was one
of the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration's most fruitful
During its thrice-extended mission,
Galileo discovered the first moon of an
asteroid, witnessed the impact of a
comet into Jupiter and provided firm
evidence of salty oceans on three of the
Continued from Page 1A
ward to welcoming you in about six to eight years as
freshmen in Engineering," Davis said.
The festivals - of which there have been 18
since their inception in 2001 - have traveled
across the U.S. to a number of different college
campuses, including the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, Arizona State University and
Leslie Grunow, a sixth grader who attends
Continued from Page 3A
culture, which give the U.S. tremendous impact
on the international media."
Mahajan said since many international news
agencies are denied access to Iraq, they are
forced to rely on U.S. news reports. "So, all the
news reporting is skewed to the pro-U.S. side."
Although such efforts are important, the Unit-
ed States primarily relies on its military might to
impose its will on others, Mahajan said. He
middle school near Flint, said she was excited
about the festival. "I liked all the exhibits and
presentations. I like science a whole lot, build-
ing stuff and robotics," Grunow said.
Engineering senior Rondi Russell, a member
of the Solar Car Team, said she was happy to
help out at the event. "We were invited to help
out and lots of girls have come up and asked
questions about the solar car. This festival is
great. It seems like something I would have done
at that age," Russell said.
Engineering sophomore and fellow Solar Car
added the U.S. government desires to create a
technologically superior army and its willingness
to use these forces is growing.
He also stressed the importance of military
bases in establishing United States' dominance
in the world, saying that out of the 192 countries
in the world, the U.S. has a military presence in
140 of them.
The United States also can use its buying
power as leverage by offering lucrative trade
agreements to cooperating countries and impos-
ing trade embargoes on dissenting countries such
team member Michael Brackney said volunteer-
ing the team's time was good for all.
"Were here to get out into the community," he
said. "We've always been here to help. The
whole purpose of this is to encourage girls into
math and science. We want them to stick with it,
to stay enthusiastic."
Ride had similar goals for the festival's partic-
ipants. "The main thing that we would like (the
girls) to take away from this is that there are a lot
of opportunities for them in science and engi-
neering," Ride said.
as Cuba, he said.
Mahajan also urged his audience to begin
organizing against U.S. foreign policy.
"Now is the time a difference can be made," he
Heeding his own advice, Mahajan has been a
prominent activist both locally and nationally.
He recently published a book called, "Full Spec-
trum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and
Beyond," and was a speaker at the Stop the War
conference held at the University's law school
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served as a former governor and vice president
of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong
Kong. Before becoming ambassador, he served
as first secretary and commercial attache at the
U.S. Embassy in China.
"I was impressed with his candor," Law
School student Weston Hall said. Hall said many
in Congress are upset with China's conduct in
the WTO because of the effect it is having on the
But Tianlong Hu, co-founder of the Michigan
China Law Society, disagreed with Randt's implica-
tion that the Asian nation must comply more fully
with its promises to the WTO. "China still needs
time to rebuild, and they still need time to fulfill
their responsibilities as a WTO member."
Randt also talked about China's problems with
human rights violations, but admitted it has
made amends in recent years. He mentioned the
release of imprisoned Tibetans and the admit-
tance of the Dalai Lama's brother into the coun-
try to speak.
Hu said, "Different countries have different
conceptions of human rights, especially for East
Asian countries, he said. They treat people in a
more collective way, rather than the American
way of individuals."
"We are thrilled that Ambassador Randt
returned home to Ann Arbor," said Mark West,
faculty director for the Law School's Center for
International and Comparative Law.
"The standing-room-only crowd attests to the
level of interest in the Law School community in
international and comparative law matters, and
the Law School's continued support for such pro-
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