Many states around the country have already wrapped up their legislative sessions for the year. Legislators are turning their attention to campaigns, fundraising, and elections. Politics is a very necessary, and exciting, part of public service.
Dozens of states held primary elections in May, with the major political parties nominating candidates – from senators to governors to city councilors – to represent them during the general election in November. For political wonks like me, the next few months will be fascinating to watch.
But it’s also an essential time to remind all candidates that chronic disease knows no political party. As potential public servants debate the merits of expanding access to health care or who’s to blame for soaring costs, we’re here to remind them that it is essential to prioritize the health of our communities first and foremost.
Part of the reason I love this work is because so much of the legislation we engage on is bipartisan. Good ideas have come from both parties, and common ground has been found in step therapy reforms, Medigap expansions, copay accumulator bans, living donor protections, and more.
A handful of examples from this past month:
A bill that would extend step therapy reforms to more Californians has passed two committees and now heads to the chamber floor for a vote.
In a surprisingly smooth process, Colorado’s legislature passed a very comprehensive bill that included step therapy requirements, prohibitions on non-medical switching, PBM reform and other critical components.
After a broad coalition effort, copay accumulator legislation in Delaware was quickly passed by the Senate and now moves to the other side. New York and Minnesota have copay accumulator legislation still under consideration, too.
Maryland, Vermont, and Louisiana passed Medigap expansion bills recently, helping more Americans afford lifesaving treatments.
There are many more examples of successes – and works in progress – but the takeaways are clear. The Chronic Disease Coalition’s policy platform is supported by legislators on the left, right and center and we urge all candidates to champion these issues alongside us.
As the nation looks toward the general election in November, and Americans cast their ballots for whomever they think will best represent them, we urge them to think of the millions of chronic disease patients, and their families, who deserve public servants that prioritize common sense solutions and good ideas regardless of political persuasion.