The Iowa Citizens Action Network has joined a national campaign seeking major changes in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit for seniors. Seventy-two-year-old Nancy Nichols, a retired school teacher from West Des Moines, says the current plan is way too complicated. “It should never, ever have been turned over to private insurance companies,” she says. “It is so difficult to figure out that the average senior doesn’t know where to go.”
Nichols says she and her 73-year-old husband, Ed, spent three months trying make a decision as to which prescription drug plan to sign up for — and she’s worried it’s not the best one for them. Like the Iowa Citizen Action Network and the national Americans United group, Nichols believes private-sector companies should be taken out of the equation and all prescription drug benefits for American seniors should be managed by Medicare to reduce costs.
Nichols says the private companies America’s seniors are signing with to get their prescription drug coverage are only telling seniors how much out-of-pocket costs there’ll be for each drug — not the total cost of the medication. Americans United claims it means the government is paying much more for prescription medications for the nation’s elderly than is necessary.