Transcript: Bob Meeks says Affordable Care Act helps seniors afford their prescriptions

Remarks by Bob Meeks, a retiree, on how the Affordable Care Act saves seniors money on prescription medications (March 23, 2012):

“My name is Bob Meeks, and I am 75-years-old, or as one of my grandsons pointed out, Papa, that is three quarters of a century. He didn’t have to say that. I live in Bradenton, Florida, near Tampa. I am here on behalf of the Alliance for Retired Americans, and for every senior citizen that is in this country that is covered by the ACA.

“During my working career, I was a freight truck driver and a car hauler. Two years ago this week, people like [Leader] Pelosi, [Whip] Hoyer, and [Assistant Leader] Clyburn, along with President Obama, had the courage to stand up to the special interests and enact the Affordable Care Act, which is helping millions of seniors like me better afford to see a doctor and fill a prescription.

“I have been in the Medicare donut hole ever since it began in 2006. When you are in the donut hole, you must continue to pay your full monthly Medicare D premiums to the insurance company, but you receive no prescription drug benefits. To me, being in the donut hole is like going to a restaurant, paying full price for a meal, and the waiter brings you a plate, empty. I am not in the best of health. I must take seven daily medications, and nearly all are brand names. I suffer from COPD, severe arthritis, and high blood pressure.

“Before the Affordable Care Act, I would fall into the donut hole every year around May. My prescriptions were costing me $1,200 a month, and I had to pay it all. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I received a $250 check in 2010. That helped. And in 2011, my monthly drug costs of $1,200 a month went to between $600 and $800 a month, depending on my health, while I was in the donut hole.

“This has been a huge help to me and my wife. I know many seniors are confused and skeptical about the new law. But here is what I would say to my fellow seniors and everyone here on Capitol Hill: the Affordable Care Act is good. It works. It is saving seniors lots of money. Don’t be fooled by politicians and their friends who try to scare you.

“To the Members of Congress here today, thank you for helping me and millions of other seniors. And please, I implore you, don’t give up the fight. I am living proof the Affordable Care Act works.

“A little side note to those in D.C. that oppose the ACA. Don’t remove it; improve it. Thank you.”


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