Jonesboro Lawmaker Asks U.S. Government for Reimbursement Details

FEBRUARY 2, 2006 - Posted at 7:52 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A demand for details on how the federal government plans to reimburse Arkansas for money it is spending on prescription drugs is on its way to Washington.  A letter by state Representative Dustin McDaniel of Jonesboro calls for a full pledge from the government for the money.

Secretary of Health & Human Services Mike Leavitt said last month that Arkansas would be reimbursed for the money it is spending to make sure that people receive medications under the new Medicare drug benefit.  But members of a legislative committee weren't satisfied with the statements that Leavitt gave when he came to Little Rock.

They voted to have McDaniel, chairman of the Joint Interim Committee on Health Insurance and Prescription Drugs, write to Leavitt for clarification.  In the letter, McDaniel wrote that Leavitt's comments stopped short of a full promise.  McDaniel's letter asked Leavitt to clarify his comments and state clearly and unequivocally that the state would be fully reimbursed.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)