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Opinion: Parents’ health care shouldn’t be sacrificed in the name of government savings

Growing up, my parents did everything in their power to give me the best life possible. They immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines. They challenged themselves at every opportunity. And they worked incredibly hard day in and day out, all to make sure that I had access to every opportunity and advantage possible to create a prosperous future for me and my family.

And for that, I am eternally grateful. Thanks to their hard work, I am a proud college graduate, business owner, and husband. I know that nothing in my life would be possible without them. 

As such, now, it’s my turn to take care of them. While my parents are both fortunate enough to be in relatively good health, they still see the normal illnesses and ailments that come with aging. Thankfully, both are Medicare beneficiaries, and their coverage helps them receive the medications they need, keeping them in the best health possible. Without this coverage, affording the medications that work for them would be a big challenge, though.

Unfortunately, Congress is currently considering legislation that would allow politicians to fix the prices of Medicare patients’ prescription medications. While price-setting policies may sound like a good idea, they aren’t nearly as altruistic or harmless as they sound. 

Under Medicare negotiation, Washington politicians and bureaucrats would be allowed to play doctor, picking and choosing what medications are available to Medicare patients. And ultimately, this could mean that patients’ access to vital prescriptions could plummet. Some prescriptions could become harder to come by or more expensive, other medications may only be available in certain forms and dosages, and certain medications could no longer be available at all. 

To make matters worse, this legislation isn’t designed to save patients money or fulfill patient need. It’s a revenue scheme for the federal government. By capping the amount that they pay pharmaceutical companies for medications, the government could save itself money, essentially forcing seniors to bear the burden of budget cuts. 

This wouldn’t just impact my parents, though. For the more than 1.2 million Missourians who rely on Medicare, government price-setting policies could mean reduced choice and access to the medications they need to feel their best. 

As a son and caregiver, I can’t let that happen. My parents and seniors across Missouri worked hard for their Medicare. They deserve more than negotiated care. They deserve choice, options, and access to their prescriptions. Tell politicians to make cuts elsewhere and keep their hands off my parent’s care.