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At Health Care Action Day, GBIO and Coalition Partners Fight the High Cost of Prescription Drugs, Build Power for Year-Long Health Care Campaign

At Health Care Action Day, GBIO and Coalition Partners Fight the High Cost of Prescription Drugs, Build Power for Year-Long Health Care Campaign

Thursday, June 27, 2019
GBIO

Leaders gather with MA legislators Senator Jason Lewis and Representative Christine Barber to target the high and rising cost of prescription drugs.
 
130 leaders from Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) and prescription drug affordability coalition partners – including Health Care for All, Mass Senior Action Council, JALSA, Right Care Alliance, Disability Policy Consortium, and SEIU1199 – gathered at the Massachusetts state house on June 12 to target the rising costs of prescription drugs via new laws in the fiscal 2020 budget as well as comprehensive legislation (H.1133/S.706).
 
Participants gathered outside the statehouse with MA Senator Jason Lewis and Representative Christine Barber, cosponsors of the bill, then 16 teams met with legislators and legislative aides to ask for their support of the bill and corresponding budget language.
 
This day of action was part of a broader GBIO Health Care campaign that will span the legislative session and build on past victories in health care.
 
The campaign has three aims:
  1. Limit the cost of expensive prescription drugs
  2. Remove the stumbling blocks to getting affordable care for mental health and substance use disorders
  3. Reduce out-of-pocket costs for healthcare
GBIO launched this year-long campaign with a Health Care Assembly on May 29, attended by 170. At the Assembly, leaders shared powerful and heart-wrenching stories of struggles with the current health care system. One described a 40-year chronic illness that cost her close to $15,000 a year in out-of-pocket expenses. Another told how her suicidal daughter was turned away from a psych ward because the insurance company refused to pay for any stay longer than 3 days. Another told of an elderly patient on the verge of suicide because Medicaid refused to pay for her depression medications. Participants also shared their own health care stories in break-out house-meetings.