From Tami Flowers
Unfortunately far too many Iowans have to deal with chronic illness on a daily basis. This includes ongoing diseases for which there is no cure – asthma, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, mental health issues and many more. These Iowans work with their doctors, often over several months or even years, to find treatments that work for them. For these patients, “treatments that work for them” simply means medications that control the disease enough so they can function as normally as possible – maintaining a job, taking part in family activities and being involved in our community. These medications may slow disease progression and minimize debilitating symptoms.
However, even as insurance companies continue to raise premiums, it seems like more and more medications are being put out of reach. After patients have been stable on the medication their doctors prescribed for months or even years, health plans are switching them to other medications in order to cut costs.
It’s one thing if your doctor suggests you try a promising new medication – he or she knows you, knows your disease, knows other complicating factors you may face, and knows how you’ve reacted to other treatments you’ve tried. But to be forced to switch by your insurer, who has never met you and doesn’t know your situation, is wrong.
Representative Tom Moore has spearheaded a bill this session that would restrict switching by insurance companies. As the daughter of a man who faced heart disease his whole life, and as the grandmother of a wonderful grandson who has struggled with epilepsy most of his life, I want to thank Rep. Moore for looking out for patients and ask him to keep up the good fight.