NH Groups Urge Healthcare Improvements on Medicare, Medicaid Anniversary
Friday, July 30, 2021
CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies.
Drug prices have risen faster than any other facet of medicine, and Laura Lynch - a 62-year-old New Hampshire resident who's covered by Medicare and Social Security Disability Insurance - said she spends $300 to $350 a month just on co-pays for medications for herself and her husband.
They're also receiving collection notices, because Lynch said they can't afford the ambulance bills from a heart attack her husband had in February.
"This is ridiculously hard," said Lynch. "Sometimes I just want to cry, because I don't know where it's going to come from, the next penny or dollar to pay these bills. I am so for 'Medicare for All.' But I'm also so for them fixing Medicare, so that situations like this don't come up and we lose everything."
President Joe Biden's budget plan includes improvements to Medicare, such as allowing negotiations with drug companies. Lynch adds for her and many others, it's urgent that Congress take action.
Today is the 56th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, which together provide health coverage to more than 120 million people.
Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of the group Granite State Progress, said drug companies have a monopoly to set their own prices. She noted other government programs already negotiate with drug companies, and sometimes pay half of what Medicare pays for medicines.
She said allowing Medicare to negotiate would make prescriptions much for affordable for all consumers.
"Lawmakers have not taken meaningful action over the last decade to rein in drug corporations power to price gouge," she said, "despite strong support for policies like Medicare negotiations among all voters of all political persuasions."
The White House plan also would close the Medicaid coverage gap - New Hampshire has expanded its Medicaid program, but in the dozen states that have not, more than two million people don't fit the eligibility requirements, but also can't afford employer-based or marketplace health insurance.
Disclosure: Granite State Progress Education Fund & Granite State Progress contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Gun Violence Prevention, Health Issues, Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California community colleges are joining a new national effort to help more adults of color gain credentials and degrees to …
CARSON CITY, Nev. - As Democrats work feverishly for a deal on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill, groups working to curb …
LAS VEGAS - Immigrants' rights groups are rallying all this week to get a path to citizenship into the Build Back Better reconciliation bill…
HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut plans to close a transitional living facility in Hartford next month for people ages 18 to 25, which means fewer …
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Today marks three years since the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, where 11 people at the synagogue were killed in a targeted …
VANCOUVER, Wash. - As cities work toward decreasing their climate impact, they're running up against some opponents in the gas industry. In …
Health and Wellness
LIBERTY, Mo. - Advocates for people with disabilities are looking for more accountability in Missouri for enforcing people's rights under …
ELKIN, N.C. - A Mitchell River watershed-restoration project has improved water quality and repaired damage from 2018's Hurricane Michael, as well as …