Kohl led successful efforts to preserve SeniorCare in 2007 and in 2009

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) today said he would continue to work to extend the popular and effective SeniorCare prescription drug program again next year.

"I am dedicated to extending Wisconsin's proven, popular and cost-effective SeniorCare program. I have continued to fight for this vital program because it provides exceptional coverage while collectively saving consumers, taxpayers and the state tens of millions of dollars," Kohl said. "As I've said at every step, we need to keep SeniorCare intact, and I hope the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will give quick and full attention to the program."

Currently, SeniorCare is operating under a federal waiver that expires on December 31, 2012, and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) must approve any further extension.

Kohl led successful efforts to preserve SeniorCare in 2007 and in 2009. Earlier this year, he asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to help protect and continue the SeniorCare program. Kohl warned that changes to SeniorCare could increase expense for beneficiaries. He explained that unlike Medicare Part D, SeniorCare cuts costs by negotiating rebates and drug prices and that those savings could be lost by changing the program.

SeniorCare Background

SeniorCare saves Wisconsin seniors money every day

With a $30 annual enrollment fee, copayments ranging from $5 to $15 and no gaps in coverage, SeniorCare provides more comprehensive and less expensive coverage than Medicare Part D.

SeniorCare saves taxpayers money every day

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, in 2010, the average annual federal cost per enrollee for SeniorCare was $509, less than half the $1,484 the federal government spent to subsidize a Part D participant. SeniorCare negotiates lower drug prices and saved $64 million in rebates and $90 million in discounts in the last fiscal year alone.