On June 24, the members of the 8th District Delegation, as well as State Senator Kathy Klausmeier, met online with members of the MaCCRA Oak Crest Senior Living Community to discuss past and future legislation. For over an hour, we discussed a wide array of topics, including prescription medication costs for retirees and the veto of the Prescription Drug Review Board.
During the 2020 session, I was proud to provide testimony on HB1230, which would take necessary steps to help out our State Retirees who have recently lost their prescription benefits. After meeting with retirees who were affected by the changes to the prescription drug plan, I strongly advocated for this bill. We owe it to those who worked for the state so long to fulfill a promise to provide affordable prescription medications. Unfortunately, this bill did not make it out of committee.
Likewise, we discussed Governor Hogan’s veto of legislation that would have provided the necessary funding for the Prescription Drug Review Board. In 2019 we passed HB589, which created the Prescription Drug Review Board, and this past session a major piece of legislation aimed to provide funding for the Board to begin work. While I understand the need to cut costs during the pandemic, Governor Hogan’s veto adversely affects our older residents and residents with medical issues. In a time when every dollar matters and health care is at the forefront of discussions across the nation, this is the type of legislation that should have been given priority. We will see if the General Assembly moves to override the veto when we reconvene, but it is apparent we need to do more to tackle the rising cost of prescription medications.
I would like to thank Oak Crest Executive Director Bill Tian, Chapter President Bettye Miller, MaCCRA’s Legislative Liaison Agent Barbara Brocato, and MaCCRA Oak Crest Legislative Liaison Jim Fennessey for setting up and leading the discussion. I look forward to continuing to work with them to provide adequate care for our district’s seniors.