Rocky Start for Medicare Drug Benefit
February 27, 2006 This week marks the two-month anniversary of Medicare's new prescription drug benefit. Politicians are either proclaiming the program a resounding success, or a spectacular failure, depending on their party, while many patients are still experiencing problems getting their medicines.
January 27, 2006 Patient advocates say there have been improvements since the initial rollout of Medicare's new drug benefit, but there are still reports of low-income seniors going without their prescriptions. NPR's Julie Rovner explains what went wrong and where seniors can turn for help.
January 31, 2006 The new Medicare prescription drug plan is complex, confusing, and irrational, according to health policy expert Jonathan Oberlander. A month after the rollout of the new Medicare prescription drug plan, many seniors are finding it difficult to get the drugs they need.
February 1, 2006 In his State of the Union address, President Bush proposes the expansion of health savings accounts. Proponents say the accounts will shift responsibility for health care from the government and employers to the individual. Critics argue the sick will suffer from sub-standard care.
January 27, 2006 Three weeks into the new Medicare drug benefit, federal officials are still scrambling to fix problems with its rollout. Things are improving somewhat, say pharmacists and patient advocates. But now some worry that short-term problems may jeopardize the program in the long run.
January 13, 2006 Baltimore's Department of Health has developed a plan for dealing with the new Medicare drug benefit. It treats Medicare Part D as a medical emergency, with a response center to handle problems, active outreach to pharmacies, and a fund for purchasing drugs for people who fall between the cracks.
January 11, 2006 Medicare's new prescription drug benefit is off to a rocky start. Dozens of plans, overloaded computers and a new system have left seniors scratching their heads. The problems are particularly serious for the 6.5 million low-income Americans who get both Medicare and Medicaid.
December 30, 2005 Sunday marks the start of Medicare's new prescription drug benefit. The program is voluntary, but the Jan. 1 deadline is critical for 6.5 million of the poorest and most vulnerable beneficiaries. They are losing existing drug coverage provided by the Medicaid program.