December 3, 2018
An op-ed by Brian D. Pieninck, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, highlighted two serious and interrelated issues: the soaring cost of prescription drugs and the need to make health insurance as affordable as possible in Maryland (“BlueCrossBlueShield CEO: Md. should consider insurance mandate,” Nov. 29). I applaud him for his willingness to find long-term, innovative solutions that will protect consumers across the state and build on the short-term but very significant reinsurance program which CareFirst helped to get enacted during the 2018 General Assembly session.
Maryland should take two key steps in response. First, we must stabilize drug costs so no Marylander ever has to decide between paying the rent and buying their prescriptions. Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. We are working to create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board that would ensure that people in Maryland are charged fair and affordable costs for their medicines. We have broad support for this important legislation in the 2019 General Assembly session, with Sen. Katherine Klausmeier (Baltimore County) and Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (Prince George’s) serving as lead sponsors. Super majorities in both houses have already expressed support for the measure.
We look forward to working with CareFirst on these proposals to help make health care more affordable in Maryland.
Last modified: December 4, 2018