SENATE RESOLUTION No. 54

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

210th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 18, 2002

 

 

Sponsored by:

Senator JOHN J. MATHEUSSEN

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Senator JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Memorializes Congress and President to enact legislation concerning prescription drug and service coverage under Medicare program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 5/20/2003)


A Senate Resolution memorializing Congress and the President of the United States to enact the "Medicare Drug and Service Coverage Act of 2002."

 

Whereas, Some senior citizens have prescription drug coverage through the Medicaid program, Medicare supplemental insurance policies or retirement benefit plans; however, according to the federal government, more than 25% of senior citizens in the nation do not have any insurance coverage for prescription drugs; and

Whereas, Previously, under Medicare + Choice, senior citizens were able to obtain prescription drug coverage by opting for Medicare coverage under a managed care plan rather than on a fee-for-service basis; however, over the last few years managed care plans have been eliminating their prescription drug coverage benefit or withdrawing from the Medicare program completely, leaving many more senior citizens with no prescription drug coverage; and

Whereas, Prescription drugs and medication therapy management services are essential components of medical treatment, yet the Medicare program does not offer a comprehensive prescription drug and service benefit to senior citizens who need prescription drug and service coverage in order to be able to afford their medications and comply with prescription medication regimens; and

Whereas, Promoting greater access to prescription drugs through the inclusion of a prescription benefit in the Medicare program would reduce the incidence of senior citizens employing unsafe cost-saving methods, such as splitting pills and staggering the days on which medications are taken; and

Whereas, Proper utilization of prescriptions drugs can be one of the most cost-effective medical interventions available in the health care system and medication therapy management services would assist senior citizens in proper medication utilization, which can help reduce adverse medication events that oftentimes result in increased spending of Medicare funds for nursing home stays and hospital, physician and emergency room visits; and

Whereas, A voluntary Medicare prescription drug and service benefit program, which provides eligible enrollees with covered outpatient prescription drugs, medication preparation services and medication therapy management services, and makes enrollees responsible for an annual deductible, copayment for services and monthly premiums, would establish a comprehensive prescription drug and service benefit for senior citizens and assure them access to necessary prescription drugs and services; now, therefore,

 

    Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. This House respectfully memorializes Congress to enact, and the President of the United States to sign into law, H.R.3626 (Emerson/Ross), the "Medicare Drug and Service Coverage Act of 2002," which establishes a comprehensive voluntary prescription drug and service benefit in the Medicare program and would assure senior citizens access to necessary prescription drugs and services.

 

    2. Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and attested by the Secretary of the Senate, shall be forwarded to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services of the United States, the presiding officers of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, and each of the members of the Congress of the United States elected from the State of New Jersey.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This Senate resolution respectfully memorializes Congress to enact, and the President of the United States to sign into law, H.R.3626 (Emerson/Ross), the "Medicare Drug and Service Coverage Act of 2002," which establishes a comprehensive voluntary prescription drug and service benefit in the Medicare program and would assure senior citizens access to necessary prescription drugs and services.