« | »

Everyone To Get ‘Extra Help’ Rx Benefit

From an elated Associated Press:


Drug benefit expanded to 1 million more seniors

By Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer

January 8, 2010

WASHINGTON – In case the prospect of nearly $4,000 in prescription assistance isn’t enough to perk up low-income seniors, the government is using ’60s singer Chubby Checker to publicize "the twist" in the Medicare drug program.

As of Jan. 1, more than 1 million low-income seniors are newly eligible for more generous prescription drug benefits under the "extra help" program. Benefiting from a new law are those with life insurance policies and those who regularly get money from relatives to help pay household expenses but were previously disqualified because of too many assets or too much income.

"The safety net is frayed and this is a way to start stitching it back together again," said Hilary Dalin, associate director for benefits at the National Council on Aging.

Income limits are $16,245 a year for singles and $21,855 for married couples living together. Assets such as stocks, bonds and bank accounts must be limited to $12,510 for singles and $25,010 for married couples. The value of homes and automobiles are excluded.

So as long as couples have no income over $22,000 a year or they hide it and only show $25,000 in the bank, they can drive around in Mercedes and live in multimillion dollar mansions and still have the hardworking US taxpayer pick up the tab for their prescriptions.

That is social justice for sure.

Under the old law, applicants had to include the value of life insurance policies in calculating their assets. They also had to include as part of their income money received on a regular basis from relatives and friends to help pay household expenses.

Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue urged seniors who were rejected for the program in the past to reapply.

To help promote the new twist in the law, Astrue enlisted Chubby Checker, who danced and sang "The Twist" to the top of the pop charts in the early 1960s. Those too young to remember Checker probably don’t qualify for the 65-and-up health care plan.

"It’s extra help," Checker said in an interview, "and this is what I’m all about." He is scheduled to unveil an ad campaign Friday in New York City, including posters, brochures and a television public service announcement.

About 32 million seniors are enrolled in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. About 30 percent of them are enrolled in the extra help program, also known as the low-income subsidy.

So now everybody will get "extra help." So why is it called "extra help"?

Benefits vary by income. For many, the extra help program eliminates premiums and annual deductibles and charges copays as low as $1.10 for generic drugs and $3.30 for brand names…

So as long as you hide any income over $25,000 you can have your drugs paid for by the US taxpayer. (Drugs that probably include Viagra, medical marijuana and God knows what.)

Sure this seems like a small story. But make no mistake, no matter what version of ‘healthcare reform’ passes this is how socialized medicine will be eventually be achieved.

They will quietly expand the “safety net” when nobody is looking. One ‘expansion at a time, presented as a ‘fait accompli.’

In fact, that is how we’ve gotten to the point of almost universal coverage already, between SCHIP for children up to the age of 27 and ‘old people’ getting starting at 62.

Oddly enough, this article does not even mention how much this “generous” expansion will cost.

Apparently the AP thought its readers didn’t need to know that minor detail.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 8th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Everyone To Get ‘Extra Help’ Rx Benefit”

  1. proreason says:

    “Oddly enough, this article does not even mention how much this expansion will cost. ”

    it will all be paid for by rich people.

  2. BillK says:

    Under the old law, applicants had to include the value of life insurance policies in calculating their assets. They also had to include as part of their income money received on a regular basis from relatives and friends to help pay household expenses.

    Don’t forget that you can not only have the Mercedes, you can have one (or more) mansions as well.

    Yet another reason for retirees to put all their assets into a family trust – then it’s not personal income and they should qualify.

  3. bousquem says:

    Great, more crap to deal with in the pharmacy. The two sets of customers I really hate having to deal with when working at the local pharmacy are the medicaid people and the the seniors who think every medication needs to be free and that any and all medications need to be covered, regardless of how much the prescriber has ordered. After dropping this shoe, I’m waiting for the next shoe to drop with the medicaid income limit being increased so high that basically everyone will be on the goverment dole. It already pisses me off to see these welfare losers driving up with their BMWs and Escalades tricked out with their cell phones getting their Xanax and Vicodin for them and Ritalin for their kids who are zoned out in the back. Of course they also have all the money to buy everything else but are too “poor” and need medicaid. It seems like their is no incentive in the system anymore to work and save for retirement, instead one just needs to sit on the goverment dole with unreported income and complain that the goverment isn’t giving you enough money.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »