SeniorCare extendedWisconsin's SeniorCare prescription drug program has been granted another extension by the federal government, this time until 2015.
By: By Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Wisconsin's SeniorCare prescription drug program has been granted another extension by the federal government, this time until 2015.
Wisconsin launched the SeniorCare prescription drug program back in 2002 under then Governor Scott McCallum. That was before the federal government set up its own alternative, Medicare Part D. Once Part D was in place, SeniorCare's days were thought to be numbered. And in 2007, Governor Jim Doyle, a SeniorCare advocate, began to plan for life without it. It was U.S. Senator Herb Kohl who had the program renewed by including it in a war funding bill. And the Obama administration has proven much more willing to renew SeniorCare waivers than was the Bush administration.
Citizen Action Wisconsin's Robert Kraig says the fact that it's had the support of both parties at the state level speaks to its popularity, "They've managed to keep it in place even though every other state program that is different than Medicare Part D has gone by the wayside. So really, Wisconsin seniors have a better deal than any other seniors in the country and I hope we can keep that going for the long term."
Kraig says SeniorCare still offers lower costs than Medicare Part D, in part because the state is allowed to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices.
Democrats praised the SeniorCare announcement as did Republican Governor Scott Walker. The Walker administration says more than 150,000 Wisconsin seniors have purchased drugs through SeniorCare since its creation.