May 9, 2005 – American seniors and people with disabilities who receive Medicare benefits and require food stamps to supplement their nutrition might lose some of the latter under the program's new prescription drug system slated for January.
The Bush administration argues that the latest version of the prescription drug benefit program will reduce some out-of-pocket costs for recipients, therefore leaving recipients with more money to spend on food and less need for assistance. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Mark B. McClellan told the New York Times that beneficiaries would end up with more money overall, even if they lose food stamps.
Yet, several interest groups are criticizing CMS, calling its recently released draft of a Medicare handbook incomplete, inaccurate, and confusing.
Among other things, the 104-page "Medicare and You" leaves out information about gaps in coverage and limitations in what prescriptions are covered. It also presents some information that conflicts with material the Social Security Administration is distributing.