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AARP AARP States Advocacy

Letter to the Editor: Save SeniorCare

Ray Kalpinski
Ray Kalpinski

The following letter to the editor was written by AARP volunteer advocate Ray A. Kalpinski of Wisconsin Rapids. It appeared in several northcentral Wisconsin newspapers.

One of the policies in of Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal would be to change the present accessibility for some 85,000 people in the state of Wisconsin who have prescription drug coverage under SeniorCare. Walker would have people apply for prescription coverage under Medicare Part D, which is much more expensive, before they would be allowed to continue in SeniorCare.

Why would the governor tamper with such a successful program? SeniorCare, which has bipartisan support, has been a very successful program which predates Medicare Part D. In many cases, it deals with people who might have to choose between medicine and putting food on the table.

The program has proven to be cost-effective. It is funded by enrollment fees and rebates from manufacturers, as well as federal matching funds and state tax dollars. The cost of this program has been controlled by the state's ability to negotiate drug prices. Both seniors and the state have benefited from the success of this program.

The only entity that would benefit if serious had to move to Medicare Part D would be the pharmaceutical companies. They would have complete control of the price structure for prescription drugs in the state of Wisconsin. (The federal law bans the government from negotiating the price of drugs.)

Every year, seniors in Wisconsin have an open enrollment period to look at their options for prescription drugs. The number of people who choose SeniorCare and the number of new people coming into the program continues to demonstrate that the program is more popular every year.

Even though the AARP supports both Medicare Part D and SeniorCare, for some 85,000 people and growing, SeniorCare, because of financial concerns, is a better choice.

If you are concerned about the future of this program, then Protect SeniorCare Flyer and tell them that you are not in favor of Gov. Scott Walker's proposal.

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