Senator Martin Malave Dilan, (D-Brooklyn), congratulates the Senate and Assembly on their swift and decisive override of the Governor’s veto of the Medicare Prescription Drug Program.
The federal government recently implemented a new Medicare prescription drug program, known as Part D. As a result of this newly implemented plan, 600,000 low-income seniors and disabled New Yorkers could be forced to go without their prescription drugs while problems with the program are resolved. These hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have "dual eligibility" meaning that they are covered under both Medicaid and Medicare. Under the new federal system, many New Yorkers who were previously covered under Medicaid must now switch to Medicare Part D.
Legislation passed by both the Senate and Assembly would have called for the State to step in and continue to pay the drug claims for the low-income seniors and disabled New Yorkers under Medicaid until the problems with the Medicare Part D are resolved.
However, the Governor vetoed the legislation. The Governor stated that the bill was unnecessary. Senator Dilan disagrees. "There are clearly problems with implementing this federal program. The thought of a person being forced to go without their prescription drugs is appalling," he said, "especially when there is such a simple fix. Our seniors and disabled New Yorkers must be protected. An administrative snafu should not jeopardize the health of New Yorkers. If this legislative fix helps provide security and certainty, then it is clearly not unnecessary."