WisDems: Walker’s Rx Record: Higher costs and less coverage for Wisconsin seniors

For Immediate Release
October 9, 2018
Contact: Alex Japko, alexj@wisdems.org

This week, as Tony Evers rolls out his new plan to lower prescription drug costs, Wisconsinites are reminded of Scott Walker’s record of undermining insurance coverage and raising out-of-pocket costs for Wisconsinites.

Last year, Wisconsin spent $8.46 billion on retail prescription drug sales, 17th highest in the nation. You would think Wisconsin’s governor would have been working to bring those costs down – especially for seniors.

Instead, Walker actually tried to cut SeniorCare twice, once in 2011, and again in 2015. His proposals would have slashed benefits for seniors by 40 percent. Here are some of the headlines from 2015:

Associated Press: Walker’s cuts to SeniorCare could leave some struggling
Wisconsin’s older residents say Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to cut funding for the SeniorCare drug program could leave them struggling to make ends meet…Walker resurrected the plan in his budget proposal last week. The Legislature rejected the idea in 2011 with bipartisan opposition.

Associated Press: Scott Walker’s budget cuts $15 million from SeniorCare

Gov. Scott Walker’s executive budget would cut $15 million from the state’s popular SeniorCare program over the next two years. The program provides senior citizens with prescription drug benefits. The governor’s budget would slash $15 million in state tax dollars from the program, resulting in the loss of a matching $15 million in federal funding and $66 million in program revenue.

WKOW: “Case Managers Say SeniorCare Cuts Would Raise Out-Of-Pocket Costs.”

WPR: GOP Lawmakers Won’t Back Walker’s SeniorCare Changes

Raising out-of-pocket costs for prescription drug prices is par for the course with Walker. Last year, Walker cheered on Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and threw his full support for the Graham-Cassidy Plan. The proposal, which Walker called “awesome,” allowed states to waive essential health benefit requirements, meaning insurers could have stopped covering prescription drugs. Definitely not “awesome” for Wisconsin.

“If Scott Walker had his way, Wisconsin seniors would be facing higher costs and fewer benefits,” said DPW spokesperson Alex Japko. “With prescription drug costs already sky high, Walker twice tried to make deep cuts to SeniorCare, making it even harder for seniors to afford their medications. Wisconsin needs a governor like Tony Evers who is fighting to lower prescription drug costs.”

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