Friday, September 24, 1999

Lucas asks seniors for copies of prescription drug bills

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas is enlisting the help of area senior citizens in his bid to have Medicare cover a portion of prescription drug costs.

        Mr. Lucas, a Richwood Democrat representing Kentucky's 4th District, is asking seniors to send him copies of their prescription drug bills.

        At two forums this year in Northern Kentucky — one this week in Ludlow and the other in April in Highland Heights — seniors complained about the high price they pay for drugs.

        Mr. Lucas said he wants the bills “to show Congress that we need to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors, that we need prescription drug coverage now.”

        President Clinton and House Democrats are pushing the plan to have some prescription drug costs covered under Medicare, the health insurance program for 39 million senior citizens and disabled Americans.

        A bill has not yet been filed, but one is expected before the end of this year.

        “I'm going to do all I can to pass a prescription drug benefit for seniors,” Mr. Lucas said. “I'm hoping that evidence of the high cost of drugs for seniors will help convince the obstructionists in Congress how real the problem is.”

        During the forums, several seniors said they pay more than $100 a month for just one prescription, and many take multiple drugs each month.

        Mr. Clinton has not yet released all the details of his plan, but he has said seniors would have to make a small co-payment of $10 to $25 a month to receive prescription drug coverage. That would be in addition to the $45.50 monthly premium paid by Medicare beneficiaries.

        Some Republicans have said the Medicare program can't afford to cover drug costs.

        Seniors can send copies of their bills to the Office of Congressman Ken Lucas, 1237 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515.


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