This week, Senator Reverend Warnock released a video with Ms. Gretchen Spring discussing how the Inflation Reduction Act lowers prescription drug costs for Georgia seniors
Senator Reverend Warnock secured his provision to cap the out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs at $2,000 a year for seniors on Medicare in the Inflation Reduction Act, which is now law
Ms. Gretchen Spring provided testimony at Senator Reverend Warnock’s Aging Committee Field Hearing in Fayetteville, Georgia this summer
***WATCH: Senator Reverend Warnock chat on lowering Georgia seniors health care costs***
Washington, D.C. — This week, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) released another installment in his “Rapping with the Reverend” video series featuring a conversation on the Senator’s successful work to cap the cost of prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 a year. The conversation was held with Ms. Gretchen Spring, a resident of Marietta and a Medicare beneficiary.
Ms. Spring spent the last six years as a caregiver for her late husband, Peter, who lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease earlier this year. Ms. Spring understands deeply the stress and burden that expensive prescription drugs put on seniors. Ms. Spring had to max out their credit cards and take out personal loans for food just so they could afford their medications. The Senator spoke virtually with Ms. Spring about his provision in the Inflation Reduction Act to cap prescription costs for seniors on Medicare.
“Since you and I saw each other last, we passed through the Senate my bill, Capping Drug Costs for Seniors Act, which caps the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. It says you will not have to pay more than $2,000 per year,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “I’m glad that we were able to get this done because I believe that health care is a human right, and I’m honored every single day to fight on your behalf.”
“Senator Warnock that [$2,000 out-of-pocket cost cap] would have been a lifesaver for me because I’m now on a fixed income. I have nothing to fall back on,” said Ms. Spring. “But $2,000, Senator Warnock, we would have hit that cap by March because of [Peter’s] heart condition medication and because of his Alzheimer’s medication. It was unreal.”
WATCH the full video HERE.
Full transcript of the video below:
Senator Reverend Warnock (SW): Hi Gretchen!
Ms. Gretchen Spring (GS): Hi, Senator Warnock! How are you?
SW: I’m doing great! Listen, It’s wonderful to see you. A few things have happened since we last talked. You were there at my field hearing for the Aging Committee that I held in Fayetteville, Georgia and there you told us your story about you and your late husband, Peter.
GS: Basically, what happened is he had a cognitive stroke on October 28, 2015. The following February, he was diagnosed with dementia. I realized that I was going to have to take care of an adult child and one of those things was maintaining his prescriptions that were extremely expensive. He had a heart condition as well. And the heart condition medication that he had to be on had side effects. So, he had to take three other medications to offset those side effects.
SW: Since you and I saw each other last, we passed through the Senate my bill, Capping Drug Costs for Seniors Act, which caps the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. It says you will not have to pay more than $2,000 per year. It cannot go above that. I’m sorry that it didn’t come soon enough for you and Peter, can you say more about how this would have impacted you had this already been in place during Peter’s life?
GS: Senator Warnock that would have been a lifesaver for me because I’m now on a fixed income. I have nothing to fall back on is the thing. But $2,000, Senator Warnock we would have hit that cap by March because of his heart condition medication and because of his Alzheimer’s medication. It was unreal and when I couldn’t.
SW: Let it be clear, so you would have quickly blew past that cap?
GS: Oh, absolutely! Absolutely! You know, because those two medications alone were extremely expensive and when I couldn’t squeeze it into the budget, I was putting it on charge cards, you know, and no one, no one wants to deal as a senior citizen with 21 to 28 percent interest rates. You know, so the credit cards got pushed to the backburner in order for me to maintain the household budget. And you’ve got to realize Pete’s older brother is on insulin, and when he found out about it, he said, please let me know what’s going on with that.
SW: So, I’ve got good news for his brother. I was able, through another provision of mine in the same bill, to cap the cost of insulin for seniors on Medicare beginning in January. The cost of insulin will be no more than $35 per month of out-of-pocket costs.
SW: Beginning in January. So that’s good news.
GS: Thank you for that! Yes!
SW: Well, it’s my honor, it really is. I’ve spent, you know, the years of my professional life really as a pastor. So I’ve seen this close, I think about the seniors in my own church, I think about my own 84-year-old mother, and I think about people like you, Gretchen.
GS: Thank you!
SW: So thank you for sharing your story.
GS: You’re welcome.
SW: God bless the memory of Peter. I’m glad that we were able to get this done because I believe that health care is a human right and I’m honored every single day to fight on your behalf.
GS: And I thank you for it.
SW: Take care. Keep the faith.
GS: Thank you, you too.