First-District Congressional candidate Bruce Braley is pushing a four-point plan to fix the Medicare prescription drug benefit, otherwise known as Medicare Part D. The Waterloo Democrat says the plan was designed to provide affirdable, high-quality, easily affordable prescription drugs to seniors who depend on Medicare.
Braley would let the Medicare perogram negotiate lower drug prices, and would permit the importation of drugs from Canada. Braley says the prices available under the new prescription-drug plans are 80-percent higher than those previously negotiated by the federal government, and 60-percent higher than prices available in Canada. He says if you go to the website of some big chains, you can buy drugs more cheaply from Drugstore-dot-com or Costco than you can through the Medicare prescription plan.
Braley would do away with the upcoming May first signup deadline for the plan. He says the penalty for not signing up should be eliminated. “If seniors are expected to understand a 415-page law that was passed by lobbyists for the big HMO’s, we shouldn’t penalize them, because they’re considering options that are going to affect their future.”
He says the plan has a big loophole — it doesn’t cover costs between 22-hundred-fifty dollars, and 51-hundred dollars. Braley says that gap must close. Braley spoke yesterday (Wednesday) at the Waterloo Senior Center.