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Missourians deserve healthcare that’s fair

No matter where I go in Missouri, folks are worried about healthcare. Worried about whether they’ll be able to afford a trip to the emergency room, afraid they can’t afford their prescriptions, or anxious they won’t be able to afford coverage because they’ll lose protections that prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against folks just because they’ve had the nerve to be sick before.

These fears are real—and they stick with me each and every day. Folks are seeing their prescription drug costs go up and up, while at the same time the pharmaceutical companies that make the drugs saw massive windfalls from the tax bill. Missourians are seeing our Attorney General join with 19 other states in a lawsuit that would gut critical protections for those with pre-existing conditions. And just this month, the Administration opened the floodgates for insurance companies to offer junk health insurance plans that may not cover maternity care, emergency room visits, or prescriptions—or that could charge the elderly or those who have pre-existing conditions more for their care.

So it’s no wonder Missourians are concerned. But what’s most shocking is instead of working together to make commonsense, bipartisan fixes that would help lower costs, many politicians have instead decided to sabotage and undermine our healthcare while letting insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry run wild.

But they’ve got another thing coming for them, because when it comes to protecting Missourians’ healthcare, I don’t back down and I won’t let up.

We can’t go back to the days when cancer survivors were denied coverage, or children born with health issues are overlooked by insurance companies gripped with so much greed you’d think their CEOs are green. Missourians with pre-existing conditions deserve quality healthcare just as much as anyone else.

To get healthcare under control, we’ve got to start with basics—drug prices have got to come down. That’s why I’ve fought to pass into law my bipartisan bill to bring more competition to generic drugs.

Skyrocketing drug costs are also hurting Missouri’s seniors and costing Medicare billions more than is necessary. A report I released last week found that Medicare could save nearly $3 billion in a single year if we allowed the government to negotiate drug prices. When we don’t allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices we’re giving Big Pharma a big payout at the expense of working Missourians.

There are a lot of problems facing our healthcare system right now, and there are a lot of families worried about whether they can afford next week’s prescriptions or next month’s doctor’s visit. And that’s why I won’t stop fighting to make sure Missourians get a fair deal—quality care they deserve at a price that they can afford. Taking care of each other should never be a partisan issue, and I’ll keep working with whomever I can to ease those fears and worries.

Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill

This report was filed Aug. 13, 2018

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