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Plan to Eliminate SeniorCare is a Giveaway to Big Pharma

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Thursday, 26 March 2015 in Wisconsin

dave-hansen-listeningGovernor Walker’s scheme would save big drug companies over $44 million dollars says Green Bay Senator Dave Hansen.

GREEN BAY - State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) today called Governor Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate the popular SeniorCare prescription drug plan a $44 million giveaway to the big drug companies at the expense of seniors’ health.

Over 80,000 Wisconsin citizens depend upon SeniorCare to help them afford their needed, and in many cases lifesaving, medication. The ability of the state to negotiate lower drug prices provides significant savings to both SeniorCare participants and taxpayers.

SeniorCare is able to provide needed prescription drugs at lower prices than the federal Medicare Part D plan because the state is able to use its buying power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs. As a result, people who qualify for SeniorCare pay a small annual fee and low deductibles and co-pays compared to Medicare Part D which charges a monthly premium as well as deductibles and co-pays.

According to Hansen:

“SeniorCare is one of the most successful, bi-partisan plans approved in our state in recent history because it does exactly what it was intended to do: Help low income seniors afford their needed medication by negotiating the best deals with the drug companies."

However, thanks to Governor Walker and his desire to help his corporate friends SeniorCare is once again targeted for elimination.

“Because Governor Walker is more concerned with helping the pharmaceutical industry than doing what’s best for Wisconsin residents ... seniors could be forced to pay higher prices than they can afford,” said Hansen who voted to create SeniorCare.

The pharmaceutical industry has been a major source of support for Governor Walker and legislative Republicans. According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Eli Lilly alone has donated over $20,000 directly to Governor Walker and fellow Republicans not including any dark money contributions made to outside groups to support them.

Senator Hansen has said that despite support for the program voiced by some Republicans he remains concerned for the future of the program. Hansen said “Anything less than full restoration of SeniorCare in its present form is not acceptable.”

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Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive. Before moving to Green Bay in 2008, he was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County. A graduate of UWM in 1971, he moved to Madison, where he was Executive Personnel Officer and Technology Manager for the State Department of Employment Relations. He is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Director at the Human Resources Management Association of S.E. Wisconsin (now SHRM), and Technology Commission Chair for the City of Franklin. Bob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1965-1971).


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