Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Rx plus program circumvented by Lingle administration

The Hawaii State Legislature, responding to testimony by advocates and health care organizations hoping to reduce the high cost of prescription medications, passed a law creating the Rx Plus program. Between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2005, the state was to have collaborated with other states to negotiate bulk-purchase discounts. The Lingle administration did not do this, claiming that the wording of the law was "may" rather than "shall" or "will."

Senior citizens having to pay the full price for medications as well as persons with disabilities and those below 350% of the poverty level lost the benefit they were supposed to receive. Many are having to choose between food and medications.

What a crock. The legislature passed that law with clear intent. But of course it wouldn't go well for Lingle's national ambitions if her Republican mentors were able to chastise her for doing such an un-Republican thing as negotiating lower drug prices with their pharmaceutical company buddies.

See the sequence of three letters in the Advertiser to learn all about it:

Larry Geller, September 18
Lillian Koller, September 26
Laura Manis, October 21

Michael Moore, on the other hand, seems to be able to deliver real benefits to those facing high medical bills. Those interviewed for his current movie are reported have a 100% rate of getting free medicines after being interviewed and making it known.


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