Retiree Tells Congress: Health Bill Can Lower Drug Costs for Seniors

March 18, 2010

For Immediate Release         

Retiree Tells Congress: Health Bill Can Lower Drug Costs for Seniors

Will Close Medicare "Doughnut Hole" Coverage Gap

Washington DC - Retired school teacher Stella Johnson today appeared with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to urge support for the pending health reform bill.

"It is very hard for me to make ends meet.  I have to choose between taking the medicines I need and paying my monthly bills," Ms. Johnson said at a U.S. Capitol press conference.  Her full statement appears below.

"Stella Johnson is but one of millions of retirees struggling to get by.  It is time to pass health care reform," said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

My name is Stella Johnson, and I am a retired school teacher from Washington DC.  I am a member of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

Like many seniors, I must take prescriptions every day to manage my high blood pressure and cholesterol.

But unfortunately, along with over three million seniors, I am in what is known as the Medicare Donut Hole.

For several months of the year, I have to pay full price for my prescription drugs even though I am still paying my Medicare premiums.  In other words, I pay money but get nothing in return.

It is very hard for me to make ends meet.  I have to choose between taking the medicines I need and paying my monthly bills.

Because my prescriptions cost so much, I fall behind on some of my bills.  When I get hit with late penalties, things get even worse.

The health care bill will help seniors like me who struggle every day to afford the prescriptions they must have. 

Retirees all across the country desperately need this bill to pass right away.


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Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275 or
dblank@retiredamericans.org
   
The Alliance for Retired Americans is a national organization that advocates for the rights and well being of over 4 million retirees and their families.