Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Part D transition bills in the Senate

More or less competing Senate bills relating to the transitioning of dual-eligible clients to Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits have been filed. S. 2181 (by Lautenberg) and S. 2183 (by Rockefeller) were both introduced on January 20. Judging by the list of co-sponsors, both seem to be primarily Democratic bills. S.2181 is a fairly straightforward reduction of the clawback (reimbursement) required form states to pay Medicare for dual-eligible clients. The bill would reduce the clawback to compensate states for taking care of these clients during the transition period. S. 2183 looks to provide similar compensation, but it makes a few more substantive changes to the prescription drug program regarding staffing levels for prescription drug plans, 30- or 90-day supplies of medications for patients leaving Medicaid for Medicare, and so on. Both have been referred to committee.

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