. – State Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford/Erie) today was in Washington, D.C., where he and officials from other states participated in a meeting hosted by President Donald Trump to focus on state and federal efforts to improve access to health care and reduce the cost of treatment. On the same day, Roae introduced legislation in Pennsylvania that would drive down the cost of life-sustaining medications and make them more affordable.
“My bill would make it easier for Pennsylvanians to afford life-saving medications,” Roae said. “Missing a dose of a life-sustaining medication can be like playing Russian roulette with your health.”
Once it’s introduced, Roae’s bill likely will be referred to the House Health Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest). Rapp also made the trip today to the White House.
Roae and Rapp were approximately 20 feet away from President Trump as he signed four different executive orders aimed at reducing prescription medication costs in the United States.
“It was exciting to be there as the president signed these executive orders, which will have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of Pennsylvanians,” Rapp said.
Roae said he and his staff have heard from local residents who struggle to pay for life-sustaining medications, including insulin and epinephrine. Insulin is critical for the treatment of some patients with diabetes, and epinephrine – commonly sold as and referred to as an “EpiPen” – can mean the difference between life and death for people who suffer an extreme allergic reaction that may produce anaphylactic shock.
Many health insurance plans require a patient to meet his or her deductible before they will cover the cost of these medications.
Roae’s bill would change that by treating life-sustaining medications similar to preventive care. Patients would not need to meet their deductible before their health insurance would cover the cost of the life-sustaining medication.
Roae argues the cost of covering the medications would be far less than the cost of treating patients who become sick after failing to take the necessary medicine.
“This is one of those cases where a penny of prevention can save a dollar of treatment,” Roae said. “This approach focuses on keeping people healthy rather than waiting to treat them once they’re sick.”
Roae currently is circulating a memorandum asking his colleagues in the state House to join him in co-sponsoring the legislation, which has been introduced as House Bill 2737
More information about Roae is available by visiting his website at RepRoae.com
and following him on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepRoae
Representative Brad Roae
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing