WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The Bush administration says it wants states reimbursed for paying for prescription drugs that should be covered by the new federal Medicare program.
The plan was announced this week by Michael Leavitt, the secretary of Health and Human Services, in response to the political furor swirling around the new Medicare drug benefit, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
At least two dozen states are spending millions of dollars daily helping uninsured and low-income people who cannot obtain medications under the program that began Jan. 1.
The federal government announced it will reimburse states for prescription drugs dispensed to low-income Medicare beneficiaries through Feb. 15, the Times reported.
But Democratic Gov. John Lynch of New Hampshire voiced concern about the February deadline. He told the Times: "New Hampshire citizens are still having problems getting their medications through Medicare. The federal government should not set a deadline until it can prove everyone who is eligible can actually get their prescriptions."
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said the move shows Bush administration officials are "finally recognizing the crisis they created in the design and implementation of the new drug benefit."