Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Protest Petition

by Mary Jane Stern

MedicareProtest, Senior HelpRecently I stumbled upon The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) and found out they are one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan seniors group.  Here is their mission statement:

Our mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for TSCL consists of vocally active senior citizens concerned about the protection of their Social Security, Medicare, and veteran or military retiree benefits

TSCL has on their website a petition entitled “Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Protest Petition.

Here are the main points of the petition:

Congress must stop listening to the big insurance companies, the big drug and medical companies and the Washington insiders — and start listening to your senior constituents who will be impacted most by this law. Here are 5 points that need to be immediately changed:

  1. Simplify the new “Part D” drug program. Just as the government limits Medigap to ten plans, limit drug plans to ten options. Standardize the coverage in each option to allow Medicare beneficiaries to make meaningful price comparisons between insurers. Ensure that all plan options are available in all areas of the country. There’s too much variation, too many confusing options, while costs and coverage vary so much that comparisons are impossible.
  2. Repeal the Medicare “Part D” Late Enrollment penalty that seniors will pay if they delay in signing up for the new drug plans. Congress created a vastly complicated program that requires a great deal of time and information to make good decisions. Yet the information CMS has released has omissions or major errors. Vital Medicare website tools, needed to help us to comparison shop, are not always available for seniors with no Internet access. We should not be required to pay a late enrollment penalty if we are unable to make a decision by the deadline.
  3. Lower the cost of prescription drugs. Congress must allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for the drugs. This is already done for Veterans.
  4. Lift the ban on “re-importing” U.S.-manufactured drugs from Canada and certain other nations where they are sold for far less.
  5. Repeal the new “Part B deductible” automatic increase. No private insurance plan has a deductible that increases annually by the same percentage as the premium. Neither should Medicare “Part B” or “Part D” drug plan deductibles. Congress should repeal this automatic increase.

Sometimes all it takes is our signature to have the changes made for our benefit.  Here is the link to the petition in case you want to sign it:

4 Responses

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  4. This is outrageous. It's not like we haven't paid into the system our whole working life. Most can't afford to pay the co-pays and live life normally.
  5. My wife and I both have Humana Prescription Dug Plan D since its inception in 2006. The premiums started at a combined rate of $14.26 per month, rose to $27.60 in 2007 and will now be $80 per month in 2010. Is this normal - seems outragious. Any comments welcomed.
  6. Yes this is outrageous! Check to see if you are paying for gap coverage through the donut hole. Originally, they paid for all drugs through the gap, but discontinued that in 2007. Companies are offering gap cover, but for "generic" drugs. Save yourself some money and purchase the $4 generic drugs if you take them at Walgreens, WalMart, Target, etc. Find the lowest priced plan without the deductible for brand drugs, purchase your generics elsewhere.