– by Katie Coombes
Since 2005, the CCHCC Medicare Task Force has been working to fix the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Dorothy Greene, a Part D enrollee, recalls, “From the beginning we knew Part D wasn’t designed to help people get affordable drugs. We all had to spend hours researching different insurance plans to buy even though we all already had Medicare.”
JoEllen Sussen, a Medicare Task Force volunteer, agreed “Part D is confusing. There are dozens of different plans and things change all the time. The insurance companies make mistakes and send letters that don’t make any sense.”
Shirbie Faulkner, also a Medicare Task Force member, continued, “We’re willing to pay a reasonable price for our medications, but Part D is just unreasonable. The prices are too high because everyone is divided up instead of having all Medicare beneficiaries on a Medicare administered plan that negotiates discounts on behalf of everyone.”
The CCHCC Medicare Task Force supports reforming Part D so that it is administered by Medicare with negotiated drug prices, and without the Doughnut Hole coverage gap. “The dedicated members of this group have an active petition campaign, have held large community education meetings, released a candidate survey and more. They were a natural choice to receive the 2007 Mike Doyle Activist of the Year Award and we look forward to their ongoing efforts to fix Part D,” said CCHCC Board member, Grant Antoline.
The Task Force meets the third Thursday of each month at 10:30 am at the Illinois Disciples Foundation. New members are always welcome!