Nasheed criticizes Governor’s cuts to prescription assistance for more than 63,000 low-income seniors

30 Jun

Nasheed criticizes Governor’s cuts to prescription assistance for more than 63,000 low-income seniors

St. Louis – State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed is calling out Gov. Eric Greitens for his administration’s attempt to mislead the 63,000 low-income, elderly Missourians about his budget’s slashed funding for the Missouri Rx program and the skyrocketing prescription costs they’ll soon see because of it.
 
In a letter to impacted seniors, dated only two weeks before the cuts go into effect, Gov. Greitens’ Department of Social Services (DSS) blamed the program’s expiration on “a law passed in 2014.” What the letter failed to mention is that Gov. Greitens is the first governor in a decade not to fight for Missouri’s seniors by renewing and funding the program.
 
“Less than five months ago, the Governor unveiled a budget that kicked 63,000 seniors off Missouri Rx, a program supported for years by Republican and Democratic governors alike,” said Sen. Nasheed. “This cruel decision targeted some of the most vulnerable individuals in our state – something no one should stand for.
 
“That’s why Gov. Greitens’ Department of Social Services is now misleading these vulnerable Missourians about the real reason their prescription costs are about to go up. This is pure doublespeak from an administration that’s pledged to end politics as usual. If Gov. Greitens is truly committed to his budget, he ought to take responsibility for it instead of deceiving the more than 60,000 Missourians who will lose coverage because of his cuts.”
 
In 2006, former-Governor Matt Blunt and former-Lt. Governor Peter Kinder implemented the Missouri Rx program to assist seniors on Medicare with prescription drug costs. The law included a sunset provision so that subsequent governors and legislatures could review and renew the program so long as the need continued. In 2011 and again in 2014, former-Governor Jay Nixon worked across the aisle with Republicans in the General Assembly to continue the program.
 
In 2017, legislation was filed to continue Missouri Rx so that more than 63,000 low-income, elderly Missourians would not lose the prescription drug assistance. However, Gov. Greitens did not include funding for the program in his budget proposal and thus far has not included the Missouri Rx issue in his multiple special session calls.
 
As a result, on July 1, under Gov. Greitens’ budget plan for Missouri Rx, 63,396 Missourians on Medicare will no longer receive this assistance.

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