Illinois Residents to Save Millions with New Health Law

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A new federal law, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, is set to save Illinois residents millions on medication costs. This announcement was made at an event in Aurora on Monday, highlighting the benefits of President Joe Biden’s healthcare reform.

The roundtable discussion featured notable attendees including U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, and U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., the Democratic House Whip. They emphasized the significant healthcare cost savings this act will deliver.

Foster revealed that the U.S. pays twice as much for healthcare and gets less in return, with drug costs contributing significantly to the problem. He added that under the Inflation Reduction Act, around 19 million Americans should see reduced medication costs by 2025.

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that approximately 598,000 Illinois residents will save an average of $433 a year on prescription drugs. This equates to a total saving of nearly $259 million.

The event took place at the VNA Health Care office in Aurora, known as the largest community healthcare provider in the Chicago suburbs for low-income and disadvantaged communities. Linnea Windel, president and CEO of VNA Health Care, praised the Inflation Reduction Act for supporting their work and making a significant impact on peoples’ lives.

The new federal law also expands coverage for vaccinations and decreases the co-pay, facilitating more people to get vaccinated. It allows for more flexibility on how to pay for medication by spreading out the $2,000 out-of-pocket cap.

One significant change brought by this act is that it permits the U.S. government to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. President Biden is expected to announce a list of the first 10 drugs Medicare will negotiate on, potentially including insulin, which currently costs up to $700 a month.

Dr. Harish Bhansolin, from the coalition, expects that the lower medication costs will improve overall health in the coming years. Specific drugs like anti-coagulants and inhalers, extensively used in treating heart-related diseases, would ideally be included in the negotiation list due to their high usage.

State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, shared her struggles with medication costs following a stroke last year. She expressed her gratitude towards Foster and Clark, appreciating their efforts to fight for equality in health insurance and prescription costs.

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