Lockyer takes california out of Medicare lawsuit
Bill Lockyer, California Attorney General
By Brigid Gaffikin,Bay City News Service
February 27, 2006
California will not join other states in a challenge to the new
federal prescription drug plan, Attorney General Bill Lockyer
announced last week.
The new program, implemented Jan. 1. under the federal Medicare
Part D law, was intended to save the state hundreds of millions
of dollars on the costs of drugs it makes available to poor and
The new law allows for private-sector health plans to provide
drugs to seniors and other eligible patients who were previously
covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
But the way the plan was initially designed meant California
ended up paying more than the Bush administration reimbursed the
state and Lockyer announced Feb. 1 that California would join
other states in a challenge to the law.
Because of the formula the federal government used to determine
the state's reimbursements for drug spending, California would
have had to pay some $131 million to cover drug costs for the
fiscal years 2005-06 and 2006-07, according to Lockyer's office.
Since the administration recently revised the way reimbursements
are calculated, it now appears the state will not lose more money
than the amount of federal aid it receives, and so California
has decided not to be part of the lawsuit.
However, Lockyer will either re-join the multi-state suit or
litigate separately if it looks like California will face costs
because of the new law.
"Time and time again, this administration has manipulated
numbers, doctored data and suppressed science,'' Lockyer said
in a statement. "If it turns out they've done it again this
time, we owe it to our seniors and taxpayers to not let them get
away with it.''
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