California Picks up After Shortcomings in Federal Medicare Assistance

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Governor Schwarzenegger Discusses His Decision to Ensure California’s Most Vulnerable Residents Get Necessary Medications in Weekly Radio Message

In his weekly radio address, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger outlined action to assist low-income seniors and disabled Californians get the lifesaving medication they need. The new federal Medi-Care prescription drug program is causing them significant problems.

The and the English transcript of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s weekly radio address are below.

Governor Schwarzenegger:

This is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with another California Report.

This week, with the support of the Legislature, I took emergency action to ensure low-income seniors and disabled Californians get the lifesaving medication that they are in danger of losing because of significant problems with the new federal Medi-Care prescription drug program.

Until the federal government can fix the problems with their program, the State will cover prescription drugs for the one million Californians who were recently transferred from our state Medi-Cal program to Medi-Care.

On January 1, the federal government assumed responsibility for providing prescription drugs for some of our most vulnerable people.

Many of these Californians are seniors with serious physical and mental disabilities and without their medication they will be in great danger.

And what some of them are telling us is very disturbing.

We heard from an Orange County man who was going to be charged $200 for an emergency refill of his heart medication that should have cost only $3.

He was told to go to the hospital if he couldn’t afford the drugs, but it wasn’t possible because he couldn’t leave his disabled daughter.

A woman from San Francisco with mental health problems was forced to pay full price instead of the $3 co-pay for her epilepsy medication because the pharmacy couldn’t verify that she was enrolled in a Medicare drug plan.

Prescription drug coverage for people on Medicare and Medi-Cal is a federal responsibility but under these extreme circumstances, I have ordered that the state temporarily pay for their drug coverage.

They need our help and we are going to be there for them.

We are requesting reimbursement from Washington for all these costs. And we expect the federal government to take full responsibility for the problems with their program to avoid a public health crisis.

The bottom line is that no one should be without their life-saving prescription drugs because of administrative problems.

So we will do everything it takes to make sure that the health of the people on Medi-Care and Medi-Cal is protected.

Thank you.

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.