March 14, 2007

Help Us Save SeniorCare

By Senator Lena C. Taylor

In recent weeks, we have all been alarmed by the possible discontinuation of Wisconsin’s SeniorCare prescription drug program.  Without approval by the Federal Government in Washington D.C., the program will cease to exist on June 30!  I need each of you to join in the fight to save SeniorCare for thousands of Wisconsin’s senior-citizens.

SeniorCare is a program unique to Wisconsin, and gives our seniors an alternative to the often-confusing Medicare Part D drug program.  To date, over 103,344 people enjoy the benefits of this program.  A recent study done by AARP estimated that 94% of those individuals will do better on SeniorCare than under Part D.  To me, that’s the only proof we need that our program must be maintained.

When you look at the numbers, we actually save the Federal Government money on SeniorCare.  Sadly, the Bush Administration has decided that its own program, Medicare Part D, must be the only program out there.  Many experts agree that the Federal Government should have modeled their program after ours, but now it is too late.

The real problems with Medicare Part D are its complex eligibility formulas, and difficult application process.  The average cost to subsidize a SeniorCare participant is half as much as the costs for a Medicare Part D individual.   So you can see, SeniorCare is good for seniors, and good for the government.

Another major concern is eligibility.  Currently, Wisconsin has the 3rd highest number of applicants rejected by the Part D program.  Those applicants WOULD be covered by SeniorCare.  Quite simply, Milwaukee needs SeniorCare to continue.

Now is the time to put politics and partisanship aside.  Protecting our seniors is not a Republican or Democratic issue.  It’s an issue we must all address.  We must rally together, and let our officials in Washington know that we want quality care for our seniors.  It’s the right thing to do.

I implore all of you to take a moment, and write a letter, or make a phone call, to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, and the members of the Wisconsin Federal Delegation.  Let them know that SeniorCare is right for Wisconsin, and we need them to step up and save it for our seniors.

 

Secretary Mike Leavitt
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Telephone: 202-619-0257

 

Congresswoman Gwen Moore
219 N Milwaukee St STE 3A
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 297-1140

 

Senator Russ Feingold
506 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-5323

 

Senator Herb Kohl
330 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-5653