Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack has signed the budget-cutting plan republican lawmakers forwarded him last week. Vilsack did reject a portion of the plan which would have forced Medicaid recipients who get brand name drugs to come up with a co-payment of up to three-dollars for each prescription. Medicaid is government insurance for the poor, disabled and low-income elderly. It’s the second time Republicans have advanced the idea, and the second time Vilsack’s rejected it. Vilsack says it’s part of the republicans’ “continuous assault on senior citizens”. Vilsack also said the move would force pharmacies to eat the cost if customers couldn’t afford the co-pay. Republican Senator Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny disagrees with Vilsack’s assessment.Lamberti calls the proposal a “modest cost-containment measure.” He says if the governor is unwilling to consider and changes in the Medicaid program, then it’s his turn to come up with a way to fund the program. Lamberti says costs in the state Medicaid program are out of control, and something must be done to reign in spending.
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