A Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: Implications for Medicaid and Low-Income People
The Senate and House of Representatives each approved legislation in June of 2003 that would establish outpatient prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries as part of Medicare program reform. Among the key differences in the House and Senate bills that still must be addressed are the treatment of Medicaid beneficiaries and the structure of low-income subsidy programs. The way in which these issues are resolved will have major implications for Medicaid beneficiaries, other low-income individuals, and state budgets, as well as potential cost implications for the federal government. This background report details the major issues for low-income individuals and Medicaid in the bills.