|NEW JERSEY — This morning, Protect Our Care’s “Care Force One” arrived in Teaneck, New Jersey to demonstrate the need for lowering New Jerseyans’ health care costs, expanding coverage, and reducing racial disparities in care. Headlined by New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, the event highlighted the importance of addressing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices.
Read Protect Our Care’s new report: Lower Costs, Better Care for New Jerseyans here.
Throughout the nationwide “Lower Cost, Better Care” bus tour, Protect Our Care is fighting to ensure critical health care measures supported by President Biden remain in the upcoming budget reconciliation legislation. These priorities include giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans, getting more Americans covered by closing the Medicaid gap, expanding Medicare benefits to include hearing, dental, and vision, and further reducing health care premiums for millions of Americans who purchase coverage on their own.
You can watch the event here.
“As we rebuild and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to expand access to affordable health care, improve care and lower prescription drugs has never been more urgent for New Jerseyans,” said Senator Loretta Weinberg from New Jersey’s 37th Legislative District. “The truth is, Americans pay more for prescription drugs than anyone in the world. Nearly 2 million New Jerseyans have chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes or asthma that require the use of lifesaving prescription drugs. A recent AARP survey found that nearly 60 percent of New Jersey voters are worried about being able to afford their medication. New Jersey families deserve better, and it is time for Congress to take bold action by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.”
“When Congress returns this fall, we have a once in a generation opportunity to transform health care for the American people by lowering prescription drug prices, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and further reducing health costs for people purchasing coverage on their own,” said Maura Collinsgru, Health Care Program Director, New Jersey Citizen Action, which co-sponsored the event with Protect Our Care New Jersey. “The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the high costs and alarming inequities that exist within our healthcare system that disproportionately impact communities of color and some of our most vulnerable. Lowering drug costs and improving access to health coverage will go a long way to eliminating inequities and ensuring all people have access to the care they need regardless of where they live, how much they make or the color of their skin.”
“As an emergency room doctor who specializes in addiction medicine, I meet patients on a regular basis who are experiencing difficulty paying for lifesaving medication,” said Dr. Aakash Shah, a physician and health care advocate from Bergen County. “One in four New Jerseyans report having to forgo filling a prescription because of skyrocketing costs. Patients shouldn’t be forced to ration medication or delay care because costs are too high. Prescription drug reform is long overdue, and I hope that our members of Congress will help New Jerseyans get the care they need and deserve.”
“When I was fighting stage 4 cancer, I had to forgo medication that would boost my immune system because the price tag was simply too high,” said Laura Packard, a cancer survivor and health care advocate who is crisscrossing the country on Care Force One this summer making the case for lowering prescription drug prices, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and further reducing health care costs for people purchasing coverage on their own. “I wound up in the hospital, and nearly died. Sadly, stories like these are all too common in our country. Patients should be able to focus on getting well, not struggling to pay for medications. That’s why we need Congress to act now to lower the cost of prescription drugs, including allowing Medicare to negotiate prices on behalf of all Americans.”
Next week, “Care Force One” will be making two more stops in New Jersey, including New Brunswick, NJ on Monday, August 16 and Burlington County, NJ on Tuesday, August 17. For more information, please visit protectourcare.org/bus-tour/.
The Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour is making stops in:
New Brunswick, New Jersey on Monday, August 16, 2021
Scranton, Pennsylvania on Monday, August 16, 2021
Burlington County, New Jersey on Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Dover, Delaware on Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Morgantown, West Virginia on Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Youngstown, Ohio on Thursday, August 19, 2021
Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, August 19, 2021
Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Friday, August 20, 2021
Madison, Wisconsin on Friday, August 20, 2021
Parkersburg, West Virginia on Monday, August 23, 2021
Charleston, West Virginia on Monday, August 23, 2021
Raleigh, North Carolina on Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Columbia, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Savannah, Georgia on Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Orlando, Florida on Thursday, August 26, 2021
Tampa, Florida on Thursday, August 26, 2021
Denver, Colorado on Monday, August 30, 2021
Flagstaff, Arizona on Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Tucson, Arizona on Wednesday, September 1, 2021
San Diego, California on Thursday, September 2, 2021
Anaheim, California on Thursday, September 2, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, September 3, 2021