Medicare Drug Benefit ‘Is Working,’ U.S. Representative Says
California will save an estimated $113 million this year because "the competitive structure in the Medicare drug program is working" and "the overall cost to provide Medicare prescription drug coverage in 2006 will be 20% less than previous estimates," Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Bakersfield) said in an interview with the Bakersfield Californian editorial board.
Thomas, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and one of the primary authors of the 2003 Medicare law, said that "administrative problems arose" after the implementation of the benefit, but "[t]hose problems have been identified and have been quickly addressed."
In addition, Thomas said, HHS "has the power it needs to make administrative corrections as problems arise" with the program. HHS also will "work with California and all states to ensure that state-incurred costs are reimbursed," according to Thomas (Thomas, Bakersfield Californian, 2/12).
Additional information on Medicare Part D is available online.