State Sen. Jennifer Shilling
Press Release

Protect Seniors by extending SeniorCare

Democrats launch effort to save successful Rx drug program

By - Jan 17th, 2017 02:58 pm

MADISON – Protecting senior citizens and access to affordable prescription drugs are top priorities for Democrats as the 2017-18 legislative session gets underway. The SeniorCare Protection Act is being authored by Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and is co-sponsored by several Democratic leaders including Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). The bill would ensure the continuation of SeniorCare and prevent future raids on prescription drug care funding.

“SeniorCare has benefited thousands of Wisconsin seniors who otherwise might not be able to afford their prescriptions,” Shilling said. “By negotiating lower prices with pharmaceutical companies, our state has saved taxpayers millions and provided seniors with affordable access to the prescription drugs they depend on.”

The SeniorCare program, created in 2002 with bipartisan support, has provided prescription drug assistance to thousands of Wisconsin residents age 65 years or older who meet certain eligibility criteria. Currently, over 80,000 Wisconsin residents age 65 years or older rely on SeniorCare for prescription drug assistance.

“After repeated attempts by Republican politicians to eliminate SeniorCare and increase prescription drug costs, we need to stand up for seniors and stop future funding raids,” added Shilling. “I’m concerned that the changes proposed by President-elect Trump and Republicans in Congress will jeopardize this highly successful and cost-effective program for seniors. Given the uncertainty with the incoming Trump administration, we should start working now to protect SeniorCare and give Wisconsin seniors the security of knowing they can afford their medications moving forward.”

In his 2015-17 state budget, Gov. Walker proposed cutting the SeniorCare budget by 40 percent. Despite requests from seniors and health advocacy organizations to protect access, the Governor has not said whether he plans to propose additional cuts in the 2017-18 budget he will be introducing in February.

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