20 states have had to step up and cover prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare beneficiaries who were denied life-saving medications because of glitches in the administration’s new Medicare plan.
Medicare administrator Mark McClellan originally refused to reimburse the states, claiming the federal government didn’t have the authority to do so:
Under this program, we don’t have the authority to pay states directly. People are in Medicare drug plans, and it’s the Medicare plans that are supposed to pay for the medications.
Legislators in both the House and the Senate offered to help the states and introduce legislation that “gives the federal government the authority to reimburse states.”
But it ends up the administration had the authority all along. McClellan has backtracked, now saying no legislation is necessary: “This can start right away. We don’t need legislation.”
Caught in another bogus excuse.