The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce in their Monday, April 11 ad in the Daily Sentinel, announced that it OPPOSES Colorado House Bill HB 16-1361, the “Patient Choice in Pharmacy” bill, which would prohibit health insurance companies from restricting subscribers’ ability to select a pharmacy or pharmacist of their choice. The bill also prohibits insurance companies from imposing extra co-payments, fees or restrictions on subscribers if they choose to use a pharmacy outside the insurance company’s network, as long the pharmacy/pharmacist has a valid CO license and meets some other criteria.
The G.J Chamber opposes citizens’ ability to freely choose where to shop for medications. Without this bill, smaller locally-owned pharmacies that are not in an insurance company’s network will lose businesses to bigger chains stores or mail order pharmacies that insurance companies tell subscribers they have to use.
Once again, the Chamber opposes a measure that would help smaller and locally-owned businesses, and that is beneficial to all citizens and working people.
Insurance companies are hot targets in the national discussion of skyrocketing medical costs and health care reform. But there is another, little-noticed factor could also be sucking untold health care dollars out of our pockets. It’s one we are also loathe to address: the part that doctors play in pushing up the costs of medical care. This is an area that is begs for closer scrutiny, and in which patients need more help.
An Examination Day Surprise
My interest in this topic was piqued by a personal experience that brought home the problem of runaway medical costs in a truly shocking way.
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The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) based in Madison, Wisconsin is pushing back against a new coalition, “Stand up for Religious Freedom,” led by the Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, that is leading a nationwide rally June 8 to “stop the HHS mandate.” The religious groups oppose a provision in the Obama administration’s new health insurance law that requires most private health insurers cover FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, including the “morning after pill.” The Department of Health and Human Services’ so-called mandate includes an exemption for religious employers who object to contraception, and the rule does not apply to any churches, but that doesn’t go far enough for these organizations, which are trying to block all financial assistance with contraceptives. Moreover, the Catholic Bishops have introduced into Congress the so-called “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act,” which goes even further than banning financial help with contraceptives. The Bishops’ bill would allow any private employer with a “religious or moral objection” to veto coverage for specific treatments for employees. For example, an employer who is a Jehovah’s Witnesses could bar coverage of emergency blood transfusions for its employees, and a Southern Baptist or Mormon employer could deny prescription birth control to its single, female employees.
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