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I am writing to make everyone aware of much-needed Medicare reform. There is current legislation in the form of Bill H.R. 275 – Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2019, which I fully support, and I urge everyone else to as well.

As I understand it, the main purpose of this bill is to require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies regarding drug prices for those drugs covered under Medicare prescription drug benefits. Since current law prohibits CMS from negotiating, prescription drug prices have not been regulated, and they are often not affordable. Sometimes drugs that a Medicare participant has been on for a while, are suddenly not part of the plan they’re on, so they can’t get them. Bill H.R. 275 will stop this, so that the government will in fact be able to regulate Medicare prescription costs and availability. This bill is vital to the well-being of our elderly and disabled population.

Another bill that I support is H.R. 884, the Medicare Mental Health Access Act. This is a needed bill, which changes access for Medicare recipients so they may receive treatment from a clinical psychologist, just as they would a regular physician. Unfortunately, without the correct mental health treatment, those on Medicare have been and will continue to suffer. Everyone should have access to treatment by a psychologist if needed. Medicare recipients cannot pay for these services out of pocket, since most of them live on a very fixed income. Pushing this bill through will put in place access to a vital piece of healthcare.

The elderly and disabled often cannot advocate for themselves. Therefore, they need our help. Please join me in support of these two important bills by contacting your local legislators. If these two bills are passed, that will be major progress!

Amy Jackson

Locke

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