Beholden to insurance and drug companies

To the editor:

A few days ago, I was at our Kinney’s pharmacy waiting for a flu shot when an elderly gentleman came in to pick up his prescriptions. The pharmacist told him that the total was over $400. After a short conversation, he decided he did not need all of them and still ended up paying over $300. My interest in his situation led me to the fact that in a recent online poll, 44% of respondents said that they did not purchase at least one medically necessary prescription because of cost.

This caused me to wonder what our representative Elise Stefanik is doing to address the high cost of health care for her constituents. Checking her voting record found the following.

Stefanik voted NO on HR986, which would protect Americans with preexisting conditions.

She voted NO on HR3, which would have capped prescription drug costs and allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The Congressional Budget Office reported the bill would save at least $480 billion for the American people and save $1,920 a year for a family of four.

Stefanik voted YES on HR3762, which repealed major portions of the Affordable Care Act.

She voted YES on HR1628, the American Health Care Act, which gave a large tax break to the wealthiest Americans.

She voted YES on H.Con.Res.71 to cut Medicare by almost $500 billion, raise the eligibility age to 67 and turn Medicare into a voucher program.

It was no surprise to find on the website opensecrets.org that Stefanik takes political contributions totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from people in the insurance and drug industries.

In contrast, Stefanik’s opponent in this election, Tedra Cobb, has spent 30 years helping people get access to health care. She worked as head of a community health agency that expanded access to health care to thousands. As a member of her county legislature, Tedra voted to support federal legislation to provide affordable prescription drug benefits and to allow senior citizens to safely access prescription drugs from Canada. She supports a Medicare public option that anyone can buy into. She also supports the right for individuals to choose private health insurance. Tedra is not beholden to insurance and drug companies because she has stated she will not take a dime from big corporations.

Isn’t it time to choose a representative who works for us and responds to our needs rather than the needs of her corporate donors?

Ray Matteau



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