Carper Votes for Prescription Drug Plan for Seniors

WASHINGTNO, DC – Senator Tom Carper today voted in support of creating a prescription drug benefit for the nation’s seniors. Carper joined 51 Senators in supporting the Graham-Miller prescription drug benefit to help seniors meet the ever-increasing challenge of affording their prescription medicines. Because of a procedural motion, 60 votes were needed to move to consideration of the bill. “While I am disappointed that we did not pass a benefit today, we need to keep working to develop and pass a genuinely bipartisan drug benefit before we complete action on this bill,” Carper said. As Governor, Tom Carper signed into law the “Pill Bill,” which provides assistance for seniors earning up to 200 percent of poverty. The Graham proposal he supported today builds on that effort. Seniors would pay a $25 monthly premium with no deductible and lay out $10 and $40 co-payments for prescriptions. The maximum a senior would pay each year would be $4,000 in out of pocket expenses. Seniors with incomes below 135 percent of the poverty level would pay no premiums, and beneficiaries with incomes between 135 and 150 percent of the poverty level would pay reduced premiums.