Rising Healthcare Costs are Focus of McCaskill Roundtables in Missouri
Senator held discussions in Columbia & St. Louis with healthcare experts, medical professionals, patient advocates to discuss work combating high costs of healthcare for Missourians
MISSOURI – Continuing her work to address the rising healthcare costs facing Missourians, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill held roundtable discussions in Columbia and St. Louis this week with doctors, patient advocates, and community partners, focused on the rising costs of prescription drugs, emergency room care, and insurance premiums.
“Missourians are feeling the impact of rising healthcare costs every single day—and we’ve got to combat this trend from all sides if we’re going to bring costs down,” McCaskill said. “These discussions with the doctors, experts, and patients on the front lines help inform my fight to lower the costs of prescription drugs, make sure a medical emergency won’t bankrupt a family, and ensure Missourians have access to affordable healthcare.”
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McCaskill has made tackling rising healthcare and prescription drug costs a top priority in the Senate. She has called for a full review of the actions by health insurer Anthem to deny emergency room coverage for Missourians’ care that is deemed non-emergent—a potential violation of consumers’ rights and federal law, and began demanding answers from Anthem last year after the insurance company announced it would no longer cover emergency room costs for Missourians if that care is deemed non-emergent.
Following recent reports of families left with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills from air ambulance services after a traumatic injury—of which health insurance companies sometimes only cover a fraction of the costs—McCaskill demanded answers from the leading insurance providers and air ambulance companies in Missouri.
In March, McCaskill released a report as part of her role leading the Senate’s top oversight committee that found that prices of many of the most popular brand-name drugs for seniors are increasing at ten times the cost of inflation. McCaskill introduced a bipartisan bill to prohibit “pharmacy gag clauses” that lead to consumers needlessly overpaying for prescription drugs, and last year, President Trump signed into law her bipartisan legislation to increase competition for generic drugs and help lower prescription costs.
McCaskill has also introduced legislation to end taxpayer subsidies pharmaceutical companies receive for the billions of dollars they spend on prescription drug advertising each year, which currently is fully tax-deductible.
Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/healthcare to learn more about McCaskill’s fight to improve healthcare for Missourians.