Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Repay the Senior Living Trust Fund

A fiscally responsible move; let’s repay the Senior Living Trust Fund.
From Radio Iowa

A new report shows that in spite of concerns about the cost of healthcare for the poor, Iowa's Medicaid program ended its fiscal year with a small surplus. House Speaker Christopher Rants says it looks like it'll be five-million dollars. Rants says "that money really ought to go to the Senior Living Trust Fund," noting the state borrowed from that fund to balance its books when money was tight not so long ago. "To me it's appropriate that that money goes back." In January of this year, lawmakers had to put 70-Million dollars into Medicaid to keep the health coverage program for low-income Iowans from going into the red. The Republican State Representative from Sioux City says it's time to repay the fund, which has been repeatedly raided to pay for shortfalls in Medicaid. …

Oh, darn it, that Governor of ours has another idea …

But Governor Vilsack says repaying that fund will have to wait. Instead, he says, the surplus must go to fund the Indigent Defense Fund, a legal-expenses program for the poor that was created but under-funded...and lawmakers directed that any extra money should go into that.
However, it wasn’t too long ago -- oh, two months -- that the Governor really wanted to make sure we take care of our seniors by refilling the trust fund. Back in June, when he cared about the Senior Living Trust Fund, he item vetoed the funding out of a prescription drug clearinghouse program. And he said this…

June 10, 2005

The Honorable Chester Culver

Secretary of State

State Capitol Building

L O C A L

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I hereby transmit House File 821, an Act relating to the establishment of a prescription drug assistance program by the commissioner of insurance, and providing for a contingent appropriation.

Assisting all Iowans with access to lower cost prescription drugs continues to be one of my top priorities. Prescription drug assistance programs similar to the one established in House File 821 have been valuable tools in other states, and this program is estimated to save Iowans between $6 and $10 million. Furthermore, House File 821 will compliment the initiatives of the new IowaCare Act (House File 841). I have directed the Insurance Commissioner to work with the Department of Human Services during the implementation process to ensure an efficient and effective use of resources in providing prescription drug assistance to Iowans.

House File 821 is approved on this date with the following exception, which I hereby disapprove. I am unable to approve the item designated as Section 2, subsection 2 in its entirety. I remain concerned that this section unnecessarily diverts resources away from the Senior Living Trust, which provides seniors vital health care and living option services. This section also implies the program is targeted towards older Iowans when its benefits should serve all Iowans who need assistance accessing prescription drugs to protect their health security. If necessary, any future appropriation should come from the state general fund. I cannot and will not support an unnecessary diversion of resources from the Senior Living Trust.

For the above reasons, I respectfully disapprove of the designated item in accordance with Article III, Section 16, of the Constitution of the State of Iowa. All other items in House File 821 are hereby approved as of this date.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Vilsack

Governor

Whatever.

editorial note: After watching Katrina footage I don't want to make fun of tears. Wallace & the sheep can be found at Wallace and Gromit.com

Comments:
As a senior citizen of this proud country, I cant believe the prices on prescription drugs these days. Can the government really help me to afford all my drugs? I dont think so. But, I did find a pretty good deal on www.discount-online-prescription-drugs.com though. I got my drugs quick and for a great price. Anyhow, I just hope any help from the government we seniors can get would be great. Its not like we are making much money in the first place.
 
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