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CMS Taken to Task Regarding Low-Income Eligibles and Medicare Drug Benefit

MAY 26, 2006 -- Nearly 150 House Democrats have asked Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Mark B. McClellan to take additional steps to enroll millions of low-income seniors and people with disabilities in the Medicare drug benefit.

"The administration must make an extra effort to notify seniors entitled to extra help," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, a member of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.

The members of the House Democratic Caucus urged CMS to take a variety of steps, such as working with the Social Security Administration and other federal agencies to identify individuals who have not yet enrolled in the program but whose data indicate they would qualify for no or low premiums, low or no deductibles, and low copayments offered as part of the drug benefit.

CMS spokesman Jeff Nelligan said CMS would review the letter when the agency receives it.

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