Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Seniors Pay for Voting Republican, Lose Wisconsin Half Price SeniorCare Program.

Seniors were largely the reason Republican were voted into office in 2010. They believed health care reform was bad and wanted it repealed. They also believed Republicans would prevent the Democrats from getting their hands on Medicare. Surprise, the state GOP decided to pay for business tax cuts by getting rid of the best deal seniors would ever get for drugs. Behold, Republican economics 101:

CT: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel piece by Guy Boulton, gives a nice overview of how proposals in Gov. Scott Walker's budget would, in a nutshell, effectively dismantle SeniorCare by requiring the 91,000 people in it to enroll in more expensive private drug plans available through Medicare Part D. SeniorCare would then be used by seniors as supplemental insurance, or not at all. If you head to the Capitol today, seniors will be protesting the measure… 
In 2009, the average annual federal cost per enrollee for SeniorCare was $588. That is less than half the $1,690 federal government spent to subsidize a Part D participant, partly because SeniorCare has been able to negotiate lower drug prices for members.
The program currently has a $20 million surplus, which the Walker administration wants to use to plug budget holes.
The proposed change could mean $100 million in additional revenue for the private companies that sell prescription drug plans in Wisconsin, since drug prices will no longer be negotiated, according to critics of the plan. "The state plan to change SeniorCare will boost drug company profits at the expense of Wisconsin's lowest income seniors," claims the Kohl press release.

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