Will: This legislation is personal | AspenTimes.com

Will: This legislation is personal

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Sixty-two percent of Coloradans live with at least one chronic condition. It may be your child, sibling, neighbor, or it could be you. As the sponsors of SB23-195, a patient protection bill that will help those living with complex medical conditions afford life-saving prescriptions, we join Coloradans from around the state in asking Gov. Jared Polis to continue protecting patients by signing SB23-195.

This issue is personal for each bill sponsor: Sen. Faith Winter, myself, Minority Leader Rose Pugliese, and Rep. Iman Jodeh. We are proud to be legislators, but first we are just people. Chronic conditions impact all of us, old and young, and certainly all sides of the political spectrum. That is why we joined together to pass this lifesaving legislation.

For patients with chronic conditions and their caregivers, affordability is key to adhering to treatment plans. Co-pay assistance programs have been implemented by drug manufacturers and charitable organizations to help patients meet increasingly high, out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. 

Insurers and PBMs have implemented a new barrier to affordable care called co-pay accumulator adjustment policies. These policies capture co-pay assistance meant for patients but don’t count the funds toward patient expenses. When co-pay assistance isn’t counted toward deductibles or out-of-pocket costs, Coloradans who cannot afford their medication are forced to choose between their health and other necessities for their family — all while knowing that not adhering to their treatment could land them in the emergency room fighting for their life.

Thankfully, Colorado’s policymakers listened to patients from across Colorado speak about what this has meant to their pocketbook and their health and passed SB23-195, bipartisan legislation with over 60 supporting patient and medical provider organizations, to stop these policies and protect all Coloradans. We look forward to being the 18th state to protect patient assistance for the most vulnerable Coloradans.

Perry Will

State Senator, New Castle