California: New Medicare Program Hurts Instead of Helping

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, February 2, 2006

In theory, the federal government’s prescription drug plan should save California hundreds of millions of dollars it now spends to provide medicine.  But instead State Attorney General Bill Lockyer says the reimbursement formula in the new Medicare drug program hurts rather then helps. “The federal agencies claim that we’ll save money, we say we won’t at least not as much as they intend to take back from the state and we’ll lose about 750-million dollars in three years…”
Lockyer says that’s unconstitutional.  He says the new program imposes a tax on states.  Lockyer says he anticipates other states will join in the lawsuit.  Meanwhile, California has already stepped in to pay for prescription drugs for people who’ve had problems with the new federal program.