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Bush, Democrats at odds on drug enrollment figures« Thread S

Daily newsbrief journal for May 2006, also see for a global 100-page perpetual brief and follow twitter @usdemocrats

Bush, Democrats at odds on drug enrollment figures« Thread S

Postby admin » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:32 am

Bush, Democrats at odds on drug enrollment figures« Thread Started on May 11, 2006, 7:13am » --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bush, Democrats at odds on drug enrollment figuresBy Kevin Freking, Associated Press | May 11, 2006read source: ... WASHINGTON -- About 37 million people on Medicare are onboard with prescription drug coverage, the Bush administration said yesterday as the enrollment deadline neared. That would mean that about 6 million others eligible for the program have not yet to sign up. Democratic lawmakers and an advocacy group said the administration's enrollment numbers were too high. The Democrats want the Monday deadline pushed back.The Bush administration is pressing beneficiaries to enroll before then.''If you haven't looked at the program, take a look," Bush urged older people in Florida yesterday. He has rejected calls for extending the deadline.Those who wait until after Monday probably will have to pay higher monthly premiums when they do sign up, though exceptions could be made for the disabled and low-income older people who qualify for extra help.Overall, about 43 million people are eligible for the Medicare Part D program. Of those, about 16 million could enroll voluntarily; the others were automatically put into plans or had drug coverage through other government programs or their former employer, the administration says.Critics said the administration was overstating the number of beneficiaries with drug coverage. The Medicare Rights Center said it is unlikely that all 5.8 million people counted as getting help through the Veterans Affairs Department or Indian Health Centers, or through their employer because they still are working, are being covered.''Contrary to what the administration would have you believe, many of these 5.8 million people do not have drug coverage," the organization said. ''And many others of them have signed up for Part D, and are thus being counted twice."Democrats said they believe the number of people without prescription drug coverage is closer to 9 million.Administration officials said beneficiaries should gather their Medicare card and prescriptions and seek help in enrolling. An extra 6,000 operators are on the job to help with enrollment.Democrats attended a rally where participants demanded an extension.Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, cited a recent Government Accountability Office report that showed about one-third of the calls investigators made to Medicare operators resulted in inaccurate and sometimes no information.''Why would we penalize seniors and the disabled because the government can't get its act together?" Stabenow said.The administration contended the independent watchdog's report was outdated and flawed. The calls were made in late January and early February, and officials said improvements have been made since that time.House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, said the benefit put pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies first.''It's confusing and it's complex," Pelosi said. ''Seniors deserve more time. Seniors do not deserve to be taxed for the rest of their lives because of this corruption and the complexity and confusion in this bill."© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company
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