A seeming setback in efforts to maintain Wisconsin's SeniorCare prescription drug program. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt , the federal official who will decide whether the state can continue its five year old program for low income seniors, will not be meeting with members of the Wisconsin legislature during a Wednesday visit to Milwaukee. Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch says Leavitt's office indicated the secretary will be too busy.

Huebsch notes there is bipartisan support for extending the waiver which allows Wisconsin to offer SeniorCare , instead of the federal Medicare Part-D plan. However, Huebsch notes that "the waiver's about to end, and he (Governor Jim Doyle) has consistently said that if it does, and we're not able to get that extension, that he'll have a solution in place. And we have yet to discuss that."

Without an extension, SeniorCare will end on June 30th; which means the Wisconsin seniors enrolled in the program would likely have to transition to Part-D.

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3)

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