For Immediate Release: August 1, 2012
Contact: Rebekah Sweeney, (608) 266-3790
Jorgensen Accepts Legislative Leadership Award from Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups
MADISON – State Representative Andy Jorgensen (D-Fort Atkinson) today thanked members of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups for giving him their Legislative Leadership Award for Preserving SeniorCare. Last year, when Governor Scott Walker introduced a budget plan to gut SeniorCare and force participants onto Medicare Part D, Jorgensen launched a petition drive to save the program.
More that 14,000 people signed on, and shortly after the petition sheets were delivered to Republican leaders, it was announced SeniorCare would be allowed to continue.
“I humbly share this award with the thousands of Wisconsinites who raised their voice in support of SeniorCare, and made lawmakers listen,” said Jorgensen. “Together, we saved a program that saves lives.”
SeniorCare is noted for its simplicity and effectiveness throughout the country. Beyond a direct cost-savings benefit to its 90,000 participants, SeniorCare also saves taxpayers big money by negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices. In 2009, the average cost to support a SeniorCare enrollee was $588 a year, less than half the $1,690 cost to subsidize a Part D participant. The total savings SeniorCare provides comes to $90 million each year.
“Rep. Jorgensen leads with his head and with his heart. That’s what Wisconsin needs,” said Nino Amato, President of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups. “He showed uncommon passion and great drive in the fight for SeniorCare, and we were proud to partner with him in that effort. We’ll do it again, if the need arises.”
Rep. Jorgensen and senior advocates note the federal waiver that allows Wisconsin to operate SeniorCare will expire at the end of this year, if the state fails send in an application for an extension by August 31st. With the deadline looming, in recent days, Jorgensen has met with Governor Walker and requested he submit the necessary paperwork. The Governor has promised he would do so.