MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Thursday, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig joined with local senior citizens and AARP members at the William B.Cashin Senior Center to touch upon the healthcare impacts of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.
Shaheen told the assembled crowd she was thrilled that the federal government will now be able to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of medications to Medicaid and Medicare recipients as well as extending additional subsidies for coverage under the Affordable Care Act for another three years.
Manchester resident Patrick McDermott was one of the people at the event who was grateful the bill was passed, citing several situations with people he knew who needed to keep working to pay for healthcare costs despite debilitating illness or advanced age.
“We know this is just a beginning, but because of this (legislation), our country is a healthier place than it was before,” he said.
Bev Cotton, another individual in attendance at the event, also praised the new law, sharing stories of people she knew who rationed use of medications due to cost and then found themselves with more serious complications.
“For these people, their lives became a matter of dollars and cents,” she said. “There’s something wrong with that. With this legislation, there’s some hope.”
Shaheen voiced her frustration with those in the past at the federal level who would not invest in federal subsidies to provide medication assistance to lower-income Americans, citing the greater cost on Americans such as those Cotton mentioned like the need for surgeries, hospice care or additional medications to those who don’t receive preventive care.
However, she thanked those in attendance for their efforts to help convince lawmakers to pass the Inflation Reduction Act and work toward additional initiatives that would increase healthcare accessibility and lower prescription drug costs.
“It is a challenge that is ongoing, but the difference is because of the advocacy of folks like all of you in this room that have really advocated to change the system,” she said.
Shaheen also told the audience that she is working on legislation that would cap the cost of insulin at $35, a measure that was initially included in the Inflation Reduction Act but was removed before it was signed into law.