U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Fights to Restore Medicare Program to Help Seniors Eliminated in Trump’s Budget

SHIP program helped over 86,000 Wisconsinites last year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees, joined a group of 22 senators in demanding strong funding for the critical State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). President Trump’s budget proposal would eliminate this Medicare program for seniors and people with disabilities.

In Wisconsin, the SHIP program helped 86,000 seniors, people with disabilities, and family caregivers last year find the health care program that works for them and their families. Wisconsin received over $1 million in federal funding last year through the SHIP program.

In a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), the group of nearly two dozen senators urged that the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill include $52.1 million for SHIP. They also emphasized that SHIPs – which provide free help to Medicare beneficiaries who have questions or concerns about their health insurance – are an integral resource for seniors and people with disabilities.

“SHIPs are a critical source of information for our constituents. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 and qualifying for Medicare every day, we should be expanding the ability of SHIPs to meet growing needs, not eliminating their ability to serve those who need assistance,” wrote the Senators. “As you begin work on the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill, we urge you to include $52.1 million for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). This will allow SHIPs to continue their important role in serving as a trusted source of independent advice that helps seniors, people with disabilities and their families navigate Medicare, choose the plans that work best for them, and reduce their out-of-pocket costs.”

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) led Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Angus King (I-ME), Al Franken (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in sending the letter.

A copy of the letter is available here