fran photoFran Garfinkle is a 70-year old retired small business owner from Maryland who understands how quickly retirement dreams can change in our current health care system.  Fran, a member of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, joined First Lady Michelle Obama and Director of Health Reform Nancy Ann DeParle at a White House event today urging passage of health reform legislation.  Fran’s health care story mirrors that of millions of seniors each year who are trapped in the Medicare Part D coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole”. A provision in the recently passed House legislation would eliminate the coverage gap. 
“This past July, the pharmacist told me that I was in the doughnut hole and would have to pay for my medicine on my own. I was floored! To get a 3 months supply of just this one drug costs me $1100. And on top of that, I’d have to pay the full price for the 3 other prescription medications I needed.  I couldn’t believe that I was left to fend for myself at the very time that I really could use the help. Our expenses were already pretty hefty. How was I going to pay for this?”...Fran Garfinkle, NCPSSM member
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare supports health reform that manages costs, attacks waste, and makes important improvements to Medicare.  Closing the Part D doughnut hole, allowing government negotiation of drug prices in Part D and eliminating billions of dollars of wasteful subsidies to private insurers in Medicare are just a few of the vital reforms benefiting seniors included in the House health reform legislation. The status quo is simply not an option for seniors in Medicare or our economy as a whole. 
 “Not a day goes by that we don’t hear from our members about skyrocketing drug prices, growing out of pocket costs, and even losing Part D coverage entirely after falling into the doughnut hole.  Medicare is a lifeline to millions of seniors yet the rising costs system-wide are threatening the program.  Older women, like Fran, understand this and we’re proud she added her voice to this debate.”...Barbara B. Kennelly, President/CEO