Senate Moves to Protect Citizens Struggling With Medicaid Part D

Concord, NH – January 10, 2006: In an emergency session the Senate unanimously voted to protect New Hampshire citizens whom have been unfairly affected by Medicaid Part D that began January 1, 2006. Senate Bill 393-FN-A authorizes the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to provide temporary financial assistance for the purchasing of prescriptions drugs.

 

Senate President Theodore Gatsas (R- Manchester) began, “I applaud the fast response taken by the legislature. Protecting New Hampshire citizens is the Senate’s number one priority. We knew there were problems with the new prescription drug benefit implementation, but we never imagined it would reach this far.”

 

The new federal benefit program affected those considered, “dual eligible.” Seniors are going to their local pharmacies for prescriptions, only to be turned away or forced to pay exorbitant co-pays. Under the new benefit implementation Medicaid no longer pays for prescriptions and the responsibility was shifted to Medicare.

 

Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen (D- Concord) continued, “I am happy that the NH Senate worked quickly with both the House and Governor Lynch to fix the immediate problems of prescription coverage that exist under Medicare Part D. The money that we appropriated today helps New Hampshire's most vulnerable citizens, and ensures that no one will go without essential prescriptions.”

 

“The amount of time and energy wasted by New Hampshire citizens on this frustrating matter is incalculable. People with questionable health should not be worried about being turned away from the pharmacy without their necessary prescriptions. The Senate unequivocally did the right thing by passing Senate Bill 393,”ended Senate Majority Leader Bob Clegg (R-Hudson).

 

Senate Bill 393-FN-A goes into effect immediately and expires with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006.

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Elliot A. Schultz

Communication Director

New Hampshire State Senate