Many Seniors of the NY 23rd Congressional District recently received the above flier from our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed. He is promoting Medicare Part D—the Prescription Drug Coverage. Reed calls the Part D program “affordable” (three different times), ” dependable” and “life saving”, Although Reed doesn’t mention it, this program is best known for its complicated cost-structure commonly called the “Donut Hole”. One Senior Citizen, after seeing this piece of campaign literature, wrote the following:
It is interesting to see Tom Reed promote himself as a defender of Medicare Part D in his mailings when he has repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare. One of the first provisions of the ACA to take effect is closing the donut hole, a gap in prescription drug coverage in Medicare. This is the part of Medicare Part D where you had prescription coverage until the total of your copays plus what Medicare paid for your drugs exceeded $2840. Then you had no drug coverage at all until you had paid $4550 yourself. Then coverage resumed. You either had to have the money to pay for your drugs or go without.
Beginning in 2011 Medicare paid 50% of the cost of brand-name prescription drugs when you were in the donut hole. The coverage continues to increase gradually until you will only pay 25% by 2020. If Reed had his way we would go backwards into the Bush era and seniors would lose big time in Medicare. I paid $3000 out of pocket when I was in the donut hole.
Reed is claiming that the Medicare Part D plan he supports will:
Save MONEY. Keep people HEALTHIER. Increase healthcare CHOICES.
Save money? I doubt it, especially when the Seniors are paying full cost for their prescriptions in the Donut Hole. (Obamacare reduces the ‘Gap Coverage’ (Donut Hole) until it is closed in 2020.)
Keep people healthier? I think we all can agree with Reed’s claim “When people fail to take their needed prescriptions the risk of disease substantially increases.” He wants us to believe that the prescriptions are ‘affordable’, but he is hiding the costly Donut Hole. As noted above “You either had to have the money to pay for your drugs or go without.” Since the Donut Hole remains many will go without taking their prescriptions and therefore the “risk of disease substantially increases.”
Increase healthcare choices? Reed has made no claims in the body of this literature of increasing the number of choices. Seniors will have the same catalog of Medicare Programs to wade through—many now need help from Professionals to compare different plans’ benefits.
The increase choices that he refers to MIGHT be the Vouchers that Medicare recipients will need to deal with if the Reed supported Plan goes through.
Reed’s campaign literature claims that Medicare Part D saves tax money. That is true. Not only does the proposal Reed supports reduces Medicare members’ benefits, it also raises the entitlement age to 67. Lowering both benefits and the number of clients will save money.
This piece of Reed’s campaign literature is well crafted with inaccurate premises, faulty logic and important information missing. It does just what Reed wants it to do–to misinform the electorate.
The Insurance Industry has given Rep. Reed’s campaign $106,500 as of March 31, 2014. Only ‘Leadership PACs’ have donated more to Reed’s re-election. It appears our Congressman wants to keep the Insurance Industry happy and earn that money.
Rep. Reed’s literature asks us to call his Corning Office at 607-654-7566 to thank him for supporting Medicare Part D. I called, but not to thank him. You might want to do the same.