SACRAMENTO - California officials ordered emergency action Thursday to cover drug costs for 1 million elderly citizens, many of whom have been denied life-saving medications or charged exorbitant amounts because of glitches in the new federal prescription drug program.
The action by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration capped a day in which the Medicare prescription drug program - one of President Bush's signature domestic policy initiatives - came under sharp criticism from members of Congress and governors of both major political parties.
Critics said the program, which Bush has touted as the most significant advance in Medicare in 40 years, was fast becoming a public health emergency (my em). California officials said that as many as one-fifth of the 1 million elderly, poor or disabled state residents who were switched into the federal program on Jan. 1 could be wrongly denied their medications because of flaws in the program.
Well, that's one way to kill off a significant bloc of voters. And decrease Medicare and Social Security costs at the same time. Way to go, Georgie.