All from the WaPo:

First, Michael Leavitt, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services

The measure of the drug benefit’s success is not whether the program is perfect on its first day but whether we solve the problems quickly. We are doing so, and the system is improving every day.

Oh really?  Is that why so many people are having difficulty getting their rx’s?

 Sacramento resident Randi Sanford, 50, who has cystic fibrosis, had to go without the antibiotic infusions she needed to fight an infection because the new Medicare prescription drug benefit would not cover the procedure when administered at home.

  John Slack, 66, went to Kaiser Permanente’s hospital in San Rafael earlier this month to pick up nine prescriptions, including medications to fight rejection from a liver transplant. But the pharmacist told him he couldn’t get his drugs because he had been switched to a different health plan.

  Patricia Franks, 69, of Gerber in Tehama County had to borrow blood pressure medication from a brother-in-law after her pharmacist refused to fill her prescriptions.

  San Francisco’s Johnny Wilson, 49, who is HIV-positive, had his medication only because he had laid in a three-month supply before the new program started. By the time he got his Medicare drug card, he was down to his last few pills.

Or, aren’t you aware   of them?

According to Senator Charles Schumer,

“He (Leavitt) seemed incredulous when I told him, but said he wasn’t really aware of the problems…I was surprised by that.”

Or, did you think that everything was under control?

Robert Hayes, president of the Medicare Rights Center, states that he had a discussion with Mark McClellan, (Administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) EARLY LAST YEAR:

“I was sitting in McClellan’s office and I said, ‘Look, even if you get this transition 99 percent right for the people losing Medicaid coverage, you’re still going to have 64,000 people without drug coverage come Jan. 1.’ And [McClellan] said ‘No, we have everything under control.’

And, have you READ the other two editorials (below)?
Here’s one from Leonard L. Edloe, a pharmacist and a pastor:

As a pharmacist, I want to say that we were dealt a lemon with this program. It is confusing for those who are to benefit, and it was turned over to companies that have tried to run it on the cheap…

…this program was poorly implemented from the beginning. The Bush administration talks about “faith-based initiatives,” but churches were not even contacted. As a pastor, I told my congregation what to expect…

The plan is costing patients and the states more, too.

The blame should be placed where it really belongs: on insurance companies and their partners who can manipulate drug prices.

And from Brian Haile, elegibility chief at DC Medicaid:

…more than 16,000 D.C. seniors and people with disabilities have gone without their prescriptions. Medicare Part D…has failed at every turn.

Haile also states that those w/AIDS have been denied their rx’s, causing an interruption in their treatment, those needing heart rx’s or insulin have gone days w/o, the lack of response when calling (800)MEDICARE or their rx plans, and the problems (at the federal level) w/the implementation  of Medicare D leaves people w/o care they need.  

And closes w/the following:

In three weeks, the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services, part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, has erased much of the progress that the District made in improving access to and continuity of care during the past five years.

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