St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • A county ripe with voters
  • Legislature: AARP supports eye tests for drivers 80 and older
  • Legislature: Florida's government shrinks
  • Around the state: Police seek 3 brothers seized from foster home
  • Accident survivor wants new beach laws
  • Legislature: Military duty may cut short legislative bid
  • Legislature: Senators cold to cap on nursing home suits
  • Legislature: Prescription plan faces pains in Senate
  • Lucy Morgan: A national distraction for a state problem

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
  • tampabay.com
    Back
    Print story Reuse or republish Subscribe to the Times

    Legislature

    Prescription plan faces pains in Senate

    The House tentatively approves it, but the Senate worries about the cost.

    By ALISA ULFERTS, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published March 8, 2003


    TALLAHASSEE -- A prescription drug plan that could help as many as 250,000 senior citizens cover the cost of their medications is sailing through the Florida House but could hit a snag in the Senate.

    The bill (HB 843) would save lower-income seniors as much as 60 percent of their prescription drug costs and is part of a bipartisan effort that is likely to be the first bill the House sends over to the Senate. The House tentatively approved the bill Friday.

    It's packaged with another bill (HB 1) that would offer seniors a one-stop center for applying for the more than 130 private discount programs offered by drug companies and teach seniors how to use them.

    "This plan is for real Floridians, for real people, for real savings," said House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, R-Plant City.

    The Senate is worried about the price tag.

    The program would cost about $27-million -- $11.6-million from the state's general tax collections and the rest from the federal government and other trust funds. But much of the discount comes from the drugmakers, who will have to give discounts if they want their drugs used in the Medicaid program.

    "We don't have the money," Senate President Jim King said. He said the plan, despite its broad bipartisan support in the House, has received very little scrutiny in committees.

    "We intend to take some public testimony," King said.

    Under the House's drug discount program, seniors who pay about $130 now for a 30-day supply of the heartburn drug Prevacid would pay between $59 and $74 for the same amount of the same drug, depending on their income.

    The program expands the state's Silver Saver program and would require federal approval. It applies to people 65 or older whose income is up to 200 percent of the poverty level.

    "This is very meaningful reform, and I'm proud to say it's one of the most ambitious programs in the country," said bill sponsor Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach.

    A similar, scaled-down plan has been proposed in the Senate.

    -- Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

    Print story Reuse or republish Subscribe to the Times

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan


    From the Times state desk