Rep. Chris Pappas and Granite Staters Highlight What’s at Stake for New Hampshire’s Health Care in 2020 Election
Rep. Chris Pappas Hears How High Prescription Drug Prices are Among the Issues Forcing Granite Staters to Make Tough Decisions
(Manchester, NH) - This afternoon, Representative Chris Pappas (NH-01) joined Protect Our Care New Hampshire and Granite Staters to discuss some of the struggles New Hampshire voters face with the high cost of prescription drugs, and highlighted how the Trump lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act would impact Granite Staters’ care. Repealing the Affordable Care Act puts the 571,300 Granite Staters with pre-existing conditions at risk, and would make it harder for people in New Hampshire to afford the high costs of their prescription drugs.
Speakers highlighted the cost barriers to lifesaving drugs during a pandemic, in addition to the dire emergency created by the Trump administration and Republicans pushing a lawsuit to strip Granite Staters of health care when they need it the most. Congressional Democrats are leading the charge to protect Americans from the GOP’s ongoing attacks with oral arguments in the case to overturn the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court beginning November 10th. Read more about how the ACA repeal would devastate Granite Stater’s health care here.
"The most pressing issue I hear about from constituents is health care and whether or not they're able to afford their insurance and their prescription drugs. Cost and access is of great concern, and if it weren't for the Affordable Care Act our health care system would be in an even more precarious place," said Congressman Chris Pappas. "The stories we heard today of Granite Staters struggling to pay for their prescriptions is exactly why I've been working in Congress to lower prescription drug costs. No one should have to choose between going broke and going without life-saving medications just so that Big Pharma can reap in record profits, and that's what's motivating my work in Congress."
Jayme Simoes, Protect Our Care NH chair said that“Chris Pappas has been a leader in passing legislation to provide coronavirus relief, lower the costs of prescription drugs, make healthcare more affordable and strengthen protections for American’s with pre-existing conditions. Today, Americans spend more on prescription drugs than any other developed country in the world, and the average family in New Hampshire shells out about $1,200 on prescription drugs a year. We need leaders like Chris Pappas who continue to stand up against the big pharmaceutical makers and fight for policies that lower the cost of the medications that families need most.”
Rep. Pappas’s provision to the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act expanded low-income seniors' access to drugs under the Medicare prescription drug benefit program.
Bev Ketel from Madbury, NH has a nine-year old son who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3. “I know first hand the devastating impacts the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs can have on a family. If the ACA were to be repealed, the high cost of my son's prescription drugs would only get worse. Gone would be the rules that provide consumer protections that protect patients and increase competition, all while allowing pharmaceutical companies to jack up prices and make even more profits. That's not the way it should be, but it's exactly the agenda that Matt Mowers is supporting. We need leaders like Chris Pappas in Congress to fight for the ACA and families like mine."
Arnold Newman is a father of two daughters with four grandchildren said “I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the early 1980s. Insulin did the job at a relatively low cost. The price was reasonable at approximately $25 for a two month supply. But, the price has steadily risen. Now even with a Medicare Advantage my cost is now $94 for approximately a two month supply. My first refill in 2021 will be $364 and a one time deductible of $270.00. I am aware of others that are forced to have to decide between buying healthy food or Rx meds. The drug companies know this important information and, in my opinion, use the risk as a means to justify, in a business sense, the continued increases in insulin prices.”
Marianne Jackson, a retired physician from the Mt. Washington Valley said, “We must all voice our determination to preserve the Affordable Care Act, strengthen its inherent weaknesses, and fight to expand equitable access to affordable care to all Americans regardless of employment, zip code or age. Iy is not only the right thing to do as a statement of justice, it is the best investment in our economy.”
Heather Carroll, LSW, advocacy director for NH Alliance for Healthy Aging said, “The Alliance for Healthy Aging has been holding listening sessions across the state to hear from the aging community about the topics important to them and in every session we hear that the threats to the Affordable Care Act is a direct threat to the health and well being of all Granite Staters. If the ACA is repealed many seniors will risk being able to stay in their homes and remain in their communities with the only alternative being institutionalized care. That is an environment where the pandemic is playing out with tragic consequences. Caregivers now covered under the ACA would be forced to make the hard choices on fixed incomes to sacrifice their own health care in order to afford care for their loved ones moving New Hampshire backwards not forward in our care coverage and healthcare system delivery.”