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Walker Budget Would Change State’s Senior Drug Program

New Rule Would Require Medicare Part D Enrollment

Chris Potter (CC-BY)

Gov. Walker has proposed cutting $15 million from a popular program that helps the elderly in Wisconsin pay for prescription drugs in his newly introduced budget.

A similar budget proposal in 2011 to push seniors into a different, federal program was met with opposition.

Supporters say SeniorCare is easier to sign up for and is often cheaper than Medicare Part D, the federal program elderly in every other state use to get lower cost drugs.

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Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Milton, said he wants to keep Wisconsin’s program, which is unique in the nation. That’s because the state negotiates prices with drug companies, unlike Medicare Part D.

“It is truly a life-saving program, and at the end of the day it not only saves our seniors but our state,” said Jorgensen.

Under SeniorCare, the state gets federal matching funds and revenue from drug discounts.

Walker’s spokesperson Laurel Patrick said, “SeniorCare is not being eliminated. By having eligible individuals first enroll in Medicare Part D, state funds for SeniorCare will be preserved for drugs that Medicare Part D may not cover.