REP. ANDREWS CALLS ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO PAY BACK NEW JERSEY FOR MEDICAID/MEDICARE DRUG BENEFITS DEBACLE
January 20, 2006
I commend the State of New Jersey for paying the prescription drug bills of its residents and saving the lives of citizens whom the Federal Government has failed. Since the launch of Medicare's new prescription drug benefit on January 1, 2006, many have been unable to obtain their drugs. Not only have there been countless reports of rejected claims and overcharging but pharmacists often can't even get through on the phone to verify enrollment.
Those with dual Medicare-Medicaid eligibility have been hit the hardest. Most of these Americans are disabled and in difficult straits, yet the prescription drug benefit prepared by the administration for over two years has let them down. New Jersey has been spending millions of dollars a day to pick up the tab of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure all eligible residents get their prescription drugs.
I have asked U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt to immediately address the structural problems with the Medicare prescription drug benefit and to pay back the great State of New Jersey for stepping in where this program has failed.