But he’s got a lot of face time on TV, so it’s not a total loss:
Nearly two months after Gov. Rod Blagojevich introduced a prescription drug program he likened to “a prairie fire,'’ the I-SaveRx plan is barely smoldering.
Fewer than 1,100 people - out of an estimated 5 million uninsured residents in the participating states of Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri - have completed enrollment forms and ordered prescription drugs from the program’s wholesalers and pharmacies in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Central Illinois senior citizen advocates say poor timing and natural caution are the major reasons few people have signed up for the program.
And check out the PR campaign the governor has done on behalf of his pet program:
After kicking off the program in Chicago on Oct. 4 with Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Blagojevich hit the road in a barnstorming promotional campaign that included stops at senior citizen centers in Chicago, Herrin, Collinsville, Standard, Rock Island, East Moline, Rockford, Peoria, Springfield, Decatur, Champaign and Danville.
Three weeks after the program’s start, the Illinois Department on Aging initiated a seven-week statewide tour that sent agency director Charles Johnson to senior centers in Chicago and nine suburban communities. Upcoming visits are scheduled to Mattoon, Charleston, O’Fallon, Alton and four Chicago suburbs.
The Blagojevich administration also is mailing information and enrollment forms to seniors statewide who fall within a certain income bracket, according to Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff.
Blagojevich again placed the program in the spotlight on Oct. 28 when he announced the “prairie fire” of a program was spreading to Missouri, bringing the total target population to more than 23 million residents - five million of whom are estimated to lack prescription drug insurance.
Not mentioned was that the guv also sent out a press release when the first person signed up for the program, heralding the major accomplishment.