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Howell County needs pharmacy benefits


To the editor:

As the debate on how best to fix our health care system heats up in Washington, certain proposals being considered in the halls of Congress could make matters worse. Specifically, some politicians want to completely undermine the free market forces that are proven to reduce costs and make benefits more accessible.

Several proposals have been floated targeting pharmacy benefit companies, which help health plan sponsors, like the small businesses that make up the backbone of the Missouri economy, offer affordable, quality pharmacy benefits to their employees.

I have seen firsthand the savings secured through contracting with a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). For the many employers in Howell County using a PBM to secure benefits for employees, pharmacy benefit companies make it possible to design benefits that fit the unique needs of a business or organization. 

Undermining these companies’ ability to do their job will only hurt employers, patients and families across the state. One policy being considered that “delinks” how PBMs are compensated for effectively securing savings will increase premiums in the commercial market by $26.6 billion.

Missourians cannot afford this added cost, especially when pocketbooks are already tight. I hope Missouri policymakers oppose legislation targeting our pharmacy benefits and instead focus on proposals that strengthen competition in the health care system to truly deliver lower costs.

Janet Crow,
Howell County Collector