A federal appeals court has ruled that those over age 65 and eligible for Social Security can’t escape their automatic...Read more
Court Rules Bush's Discount Drug Card Proposal Is Illegal
- February 11th, 2003
U.S. District Judge Paul J. Friedman has ruled the administration lacks the legal authority to designate private companies to serve as the sponsors of a government-endorsed discount card for Medicare recipients, according to an article in the St. Petersburg Times. The judge called the administration''s attempt to create such a program without congressional approval "mind-boggling."
Under the administration''s proposed plan, seniors would pay up to $25 for one of several drug discount cards offered by five prescription drug benefit management companies that would receive Medicare's seal of approval. The cards would give seniors discounts of 10 percent to 13 percent on prescriptions. The five management companies were expected to profit from the program. Pharmacy trade groups filed a lawsuit claiming the drug card plan was unconstitutional.
Bush unveiled his discount drug card program with considerable fanfare during a White House Rose Garden ceremony July 12, 2001. But since then consumers or health plans have sued a number of the five drug benefit companies over the past year, accusing them of making huge profits at the expense of the people who are supposed to benefit.
Judge Friedman could find nothing in the law authorizing the government to create a discount drug card. "This is not a Medicare program," he said. "Rather, what''s involved here is creating a whole new program that does not find its predicate in statute." National Association of Chain Drug Stores v. Thompson (U.S. Dist. Ct., D.C., Civ. Act. No. 01-1554, Jan. 29, 2003). The Bush administration must now seek legislation in Congress to create the program.
The judge''s decision will have little, if any, effect on consumers because the number of drug discount cards already available to seniors has increased dramatically in the past year. Moreover, as previously reported by ElderLawAnswers, the General Accounting Office has found that drug discount cards of the kind proposed by President Bush offer little savings for elderly consumers.
For the full text of the article in the St. Petersburg Times, click here. (Article may be only temporarily available.)
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Hammond and Associates, LLC, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate
For Jeffrey Hammond, the practice of Elder Law is personal. Jeff’s many years of experience in law and in business did not prepare him for the crisis he faced in 2005 and 2006 when his father suffered a stroke and both of his parents suffered from dementia and other medical problems. At that time, Jeff began an i...
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Susan Pollack served as Chairperson of the Falls Church Senior Citizens Commission from 1997 to 2011 and was on the Executive Board of the Falls Church Education Foundation. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of the National Capital Area and is a member of the Arlington B...
Ron M. Landsman, P.A.
Ron M. Landsman has been practicing elder law since 1983, before it was known as elder law, originally with Landsman and Laster, Washington, D.C., then Landsman, Eakes and Laster, also in Arlington, VA, and since 1990 in his own practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has been among the most active members of the...