PRIORITIES….It’s always good to see Republican administrations taking the actual administration of federal programs so seriously:

California officials ordered emergency action Thursday to cover drug costs for 1 million elderly citizens, many of whom have been denied life-saving medications or charged exorbitant amounts because of glitches in the new federal prescription drug program.

….Critics said the program, which Bush has touted as the most significant advance in Medicare in 40 years, was fast becoming a public health emergency. California officials said that as many as one-fifth of the 1 million elderly, poor or disabled state residents who were switched into the federal program on Jan. 1 could be wrongly denied their medications because of flaws in the program.

In Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, took action similar to Schwarzenegger’s, ordering state funds to be used to provide emergency drug coverage for the elderly. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a leading figure among Republican governors on health policy issues, took a similar step Wednesday. Nine states, including California, have stepped in to fill the gaps in the federal program.

If George Bush and Karl Rove spent half as much time on the actual governance of the country as they do on figuring out new ways to portray Democrats as weak-kneed terrorist appeasers, seniors might be getting their drugs. But we all have our priorities.

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