FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 18, 2009
Contact: Jake Rubin
KAGEN IS PROTECTING SENIORS
(APPLETON, WI) Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is keeping our seniors healthy as we reform our health care system. Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the extension of SeniorCare in Wisconsin. SeniorCare, which will continue to provide comprehensive prescription drug coverage to approximately 65,000 individuals age 65 and older without Medicaid coverage in the State of Wisconsin, has been approved for a 3-year period, from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2012.
“As a physician, I know first-hand that SeniorCare works. It guarantees that Wisconsin’s senior citizens in need have access to the prescription drugs their doctors believe are best for them. SeniorCare saves lives and tax dollars by keeping our parents and our neighbors healthy,” said Dr. Kagen.
The health care legislation currently being considered by Congress will eliminate billions in unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies in the Medicare Advantage program. It will reward doctors for the quality, not just the quantity, of care they provide by reforming the sustainable growth rate system in Medicare’s physician fee schedule to eliminate the 21% cut in physician fees planned for 2011. The proposed legislation will also emphasize prevention and wellness, so that instead of just spending billions on costly treatments when people get sick, we give them the care they need to stay well. The legislation will also extend Medicare’s solvency by five years or more by improving payment accuracy, expanding funding and authority to fight waste, fraud and abuse and eliminating overpayments to private plans.
“This legislation is changing everyday, but I am working hard to protect the elements that are important to people in Northeast Wisconsin including strengthening Medicare by ending all copayments and deductibles for prevention services, and closing the donut hole in Medicare Part D. Together we will improve care for all senior citizens” said Dr. Kagen.
The health care legislation currently being considered by Congress fills the “donut hole” in Medicare Part D (prescription drug benefit) by combining a proposal to discount brand name drugs to fully eliminate the crippling “donut hole” over time. The House Energy and Commerce Committee estimates that 11,600 senior citizens in the 8th District of Wisconsin would avoid the “donut hole” in Medicare Part D under this bill as now drafted.
“I am working hard to guarantee access to affordable care for all of us. The current version of the health reform bill is already good, and I am fighting hard to make it even better,” said Kagen.