Statement From New York State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello

ALBANY, July 26, 2004 - "Today's announcement by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson is another welcome step toward implementing the Bush Administration's promise of a new and expanded prescription drug benefit for seniors and people with disabilities. Already, nearly 100,000 New Yorkers who participate in our EPIC program are now eligible for potential savings in the federal discount plan.

"As we move forward through the public comment period, we will carefully review the proposal and work closely with HHS to ensure that the needs of New York's seniors and disabled are clearly articulated and fully considered before the regulations are finalized."