Assemblyman Colton Applauds Assembly Override of Governor's Veto

Override helps ensure payment of Medicare Part D claims
February 8, 2006

Assemblyman William Colton (47 AD) is proud to announce that the Assembly unanimously voted to override the governor's callous veto of emergency legislation to protect seniors from the poorly-implemented Medicare Part D plan by guaranteeing coverage for wrongfully denied prescription medicine claims (A.9462). The Senate has joined the Assembly in the override thereby making the law effective January 1, 2006.

Assemblyman Colton, who has a high senior citizen population in his district, has sponsored the bill and always champions causes that help the seniors and elderly.

"It seems the governor who spent last week campaigning for president in Iowa and Sunday reveling at the Super Bowl in Detroit is increasingly detached from the needs of New Yorkers," Assemblyman William Colton said. "By vetoing this emergency legislation to pay Medicare Part D claims, the governor continues to turn his back on New York's elderly and low-income families."

Since January 1, thousands of Medicaid recipients were wrongfully denied access to life-saving prescription drugs for serious illnesses. Last month, the Legislature acted in a bipartisan manner to fix the problem, caused by the Bush Administration's bungling in Washington, to provide the needed prescription coverage.

"Because of action in New York - and indeed in numerous states across the country - the Bush Administration reacted and said it would reimburse New York for its payments to fill emergency prescriptions that Medicare wrongfully denied," Assemblyman Colton said. "Instead of reinforcing the Legislature's advocacy, the governor's veto essentially confirms he doesn't consider the well-being of the state's most vulnerable populations a top priority."

Seconding the Legislature's commitment to its citizens would have shown his own commitment to the health of New York's most vulnerable residents, Assemblyman Colton said.

The governor takes the same callous stand regarding the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program, pushing approximately 91,000 low-income seniors to give up their benefits under EPIC by shoving them into the new, ill-conceived and chaotically-implemented federal drug benefit.

The governor has also repealed a law he signed five months ago to post prescription drug prices on the Web, a law to help New Yorkers find the best prices on their medicine (Ch. 293 of 2005).

"We must provide prescription medicine and health care to those who need it most," the Bensonhurst/Gravesend Legislator said. "The Assembly override of the governor's veto will help accomplish this goal, in spite of the governor's position to undermine the ability of our loved ones to get the care they need."

Assemblyman Colton invites his constituents that need information or help on Medicare to contact Stephanie Wong or Nino Magali at his 211 Kings Highway Community Office, tel. # 718 236 1598.