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MD’s Prescription Drug Benefits Bill Is Flawed

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By Ida Ward Explore the Issues Medicare

I am the president of AFSCME Maryland Retiree Chapter 1, representing Maryland state retirees. I worked for 30 years for the Highland Health Facilities and retired in 1991. I did my job, not to get rich, but to serve my community, knowing that if we committed ourselves to public service we could retire with dignity.

Unfortunately, retired state workers like myself have had to spend the past three months coming to Annapolis to fight for benefits that we were promised. We have been fighting for a full reinstatement of our prescription drug benefits. They were part of the deal when we retired and many of us need them to live.

Senate Bill 946 is an attempt to mitigate the effects of moving all retirees to Medicare Part D, but the bill is flawed because it assumes that Medicare Part D is comparable to the current plan, which is not correct. The state’s current prescription plan is straightforward: there is a premium, there are co-pays, and there is an out-of-pocket maximum. Retirees are accustomed to this process.

Read the rest of Ward’s column on the Maryland Matters website.