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senate Bill S. 2554

Should Pharmacists be Allowed to Tell Customers Whether Using Insurance or Paying Out-of-Pocket is Cheaper?

Argument in favor

This bill would ensure full transparency when customers make purchasing decisions, and help them save money by paying less for their drugs. In some anecdotal cases, the difference is significant, such as in the case of a customer who paid $111 extra.

Jim2423's Opinion
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06/15/2018
100% yes. I know our pharmacist comes out from behind the counter and will point to a product but never says anything. Thank god for small town pharmacists.
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OurOnlyHope's Opinion
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06/15/2018
Of course pharmacists should be allowed to tell consumers how much stuff costs! With our current healthcare system it is almost impossible to make informed decisions when it comes to cost, which I suspect contributes to high healthcare costs. Themis gag rule should never have existed in the first place.
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operaman's Opinion
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06/15/2018
It's called full disclosure. Used to be that way, but Obama, through his greed towards Americans spoiled it for everyone. *Note: I'm sure this overcharge did happen, but not common. Pharmacists, as a group is ethical and honest.
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Argument opposed

Pharmacies try to negotiate aggressively low prices for drugs, so it should be the case that very few customers would pay less out of pocket than they would using their health insurance benefits. As a result, this bill may not make much of a difference.

eliyak's Opinion
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06/15/2018
Instead of interfering with private contracts, how about allowing reimporting cheap pharmaceuticals from other countries? That will do far more to lower prices than further interventions in the market.
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ShellySilver11's Opinion
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09/18/2018
We just need to take profit out of healthcare all together. Companies shouldn't be making money off of other people being sick. Other countries have figured this out, but we probably won't because insurance companies and Big Pharma lobby Congress to keep the status quo.
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Joseph's Opinion
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09/17/2018
This shouldn’t be a bill. Just get out of the healthcare industry all together and prices will go down and things will get better. Some political please be the sacrificial lamb and make a truly limited government like this country was founded on. Everyone will hate you but will make people work harder for there things. And better the United States economy.
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    100% yes. I know our pharmacist comes out from behind the counter and will point to a product but never says anything. Thank god for small town pharmacists.
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    Instead of interfering with private contracts, how about allowing reimporting cheap pharmaceuticals from other countries? That will do far more to lower prices than further interventions in the market.
    Like (48)
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    Of course pharmacists should be allowed to tell consumers how much stuff costs! With our current healthcare system it is almost impossible to make informed decisions when it comes to cost, which I suspect contributes to high healthcare costs. Themis gag rule should never have existed in the first place.
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    Non issue if healthcare was free
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    It's called full disclosure. Used to be that way, but Obama, through his greed towards Americans spoiled it for everyone. *Note: I'm sure this overcharge did happen, but not common. Pharmacists, as a group is ethical and honest.
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    Several years ago I found out by accident that my insurance copay for a medication was higher than paying for it myself. The pharmacist refused to accept my payment without explanation. I refused the medication and went elsewhere and told the new pharmacy that I didn’t have insurance and got the lower price. Now that’s ridiculous!
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    Why not, people should be able to make informed decisions which can’t happen when they aren’t privy to all applicable facts.
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    Yes! Pharmacists are part of our healthcare team. To many people that makes the difference between getting the meds they need or not.
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    We just need to take profit out of healthcare all together. Companies shouldn't be making money off of other people being sick. Other countries have figured this out, but we probably won't because insurance companies and Big Pharma lobby Congress to keep the status quo.
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    Contrary to some comments that attribute this "gag clause" to President Obama, it is actually a clause inserted into medical/pharmacy insurance by the large insurance companies that prevents pharmacists from divulging that cash would cost less and the money generated by those insurers goes to pay lobbyists to further the policy to increase their profits - Some independent pharmacists stand to be put out of business by said insurers who have to sell some scripts below their cost just to be able to fill other prescriptions. The consumer deserves to know what the lowest possible price is so they can save their own money instead of padding the bottom line of the huge drug companies
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    Helpin save people money is paramount to good customer service. And insurance today is a joke. I personally paid $1600 into the plan. I have a $2800 deductible on top of that. I went to get a prescription for my tooth infection and had to pay full price. Really, United Healthcare?? I thought okay. So I must have insurance in case I get cancer. But NO. There is separate insurance for that. The way I see it United Healthcare, you owe me $1600 + the $40 I had to pay even with insurance. So def save the customers $$$ since the insurance companies aren’t.
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    This is where we are folks. You have to pass a law to require telling the truth.
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    I cannot believe that there should even have to be a vote about this. So many people struggle to make ends meet, especially if they have major illnesses, the pharmacy should be able to do whatever they can to help.
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    Barring any provider from listing the prices of equivalent products seems like an infringement of free speech. Unless the effect of this is to incite riots over the price differences, there is no compelling reason in the public interest for restricting this information. And if the price differential is enough that revealing it would cause civil unrest, then it definitely needs to be revealed. I suspect in most cases and in practice this won’t make much difference to the consumer, but the principle of consumer interest in transparency outweighing corporate gag laws is important to publicly uphold.
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    Of course! DUH!!
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    Yay in hopes of keeping medical costs down.
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    ABSOLUTELY!
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    Citizens deserve and need any breaks on pharmaceutical costs they can get and it's only fair they know the truth and their options.
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    This shouldn’t be a bill. Just get out of the healthcare industry all together and prices will go down and things will get better. Some political please be the sacrificial lamb and make a truly limited government like this country was founded on. Everyone will hate you but will make people work harder for there things. And better the United States economy.
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    This shouldn't even be a question, healthcare should be affordable, accessible, and transparent.
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