Survey Questions and Candidate Responses

What action(s) will you take to reduce out-of-pocket drug costs and reduce the impact of the cost of prescription drugs on taxpayers and insurance premiums?

Tammy Nuccio | Participating Election
I have actively been working to find ways to reduce the cost of prescription drugs on the Insurance Committee. I've been part of many sessions discussing what we can do legislatively. It is important to note, Pharma is mainly governed at the Federal level. I am working to find a way to regionalize our buying power in the state which should help to reduce overall costs and hold Pharma accountable for their pricing structure.
Nick Gauthier | Participating Election
Implement public universal health care coverage and place caps on prescription costs.
Jonathan Steinberg | Participating Election
I've supported efforts to source drugs from Canada and elsewhere to seek lower costs as the federal government struggles to do what is necessary. We've capped prices on insulin and there may be a few other instances where we can do some similar for critical, oft-used drugs. We also need to do more to limit the additional cost represented by pharmacy manager middlemen.
Anne Hughes | Participating Election
CT must lead the way of the country with implementing in 2023 the negotiating drug prices that was passed in the federal American Inflaction Reduction Act. We must pass legislation that addresses the Big Pharma's in-house PBM's, that provide no value to the patient. We must work with our congressional delegation to invest in low-cost health access options like a public healthcare option (currently provided under CoveredCT and on the exchange), but an affordable small business, individual option to purchase into the state employees health plan as negotiated by the Comptroller, eliminating private overhead administration costs.
Cynthia Mangini | Participating Election
To reduce out of pocket costs and to reduce the burden on taxpayers, I would support legislation mandating a larger contribution from the insurance industry. Also, I would work towards drug companies reducing their costs.
Kara Rochelle | Participating Election
I support importing safe prescription drugs from Canada, benchmarking tools, and opening the public option to nonprofits and small businesses to help lower their healthcare costs.
John Rasimas | Participating Election
We need to be better at negotiating prescription drugs prices for government plans. We can do so by consolidating agreements and using volume to our advantage.
Edwin Vargas | Participating Election
I will support any and all legislation that reduces prescription costs for consumers.
David Michel | Participating Election
1. Push for a state single payer system where all those that pay will pay much less and everyone is covered. 2. I will work hard again at getting a bill, the back up for this effort mentioned above, that gets us our comparative study for a state single payer system, a medicare for all at the state level. Preliminary research did already show major savings of close to a billion dollars. The study would only cost under $20k and there is no need to put money in a group to oversee this. The study should come right back to the legislature. 3. I will support and work hard to get more support on bills that will be worked on to address this issue. But ultimately I will again push for and co introduce a bill for the expansion of husky to all those eligible regardless of immigration status. Not only is it the right thing to do but will also cost less as it is a form of prevention.
Lucy Dathan | Participating Election
I believe in affordable, accessible healthcare to meet all residents’ needs and out of pocket drug costs have become astronomical over the last several years and is at the forefront of people's minds. There is a lot of focus on this at the federal level with the Inflation Reduction Act, but there are potential measures that we can also do in the state. We should incentivize heath care providers to leverage the state's buying power for high use prescription drugs. In 2019, the General Assembly sponsored a bill that capped the cost of Diabetic supplies including insulin and we can follow this similar approach to other high used life-saving medications, like blood pressure or cholesterol medications. As a member of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, we continue to evaluate policies like these but are also trying to address the root causes of increased health care.
Christine Palm | Participating Election
I’d start by overhauling the Teachers Retirement Board, which railroaded many retired teachers into a United Health medication plan they did not want. I believe this agency should operate under the purview of the State Comptroller, who has bargaining power. I support our AG’s efforts to hold Big Pharma accountable for their egregious greed. I support working with healthcare providers on more palliative, preventative and alternative pain management, which is often more cost-effective.
Don Mastronardi | Participating Election
Insurance premiums and drug prices continue rise year after year, even after Obamacare promised to do the opposite. The best actions we can take to lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs is to have more competition in our markets, lessen regulations to allow insurance companies to compete across state lines and do a better job of regulating and eliminating fraud. Obamacare did an awful job in reducing healthcare costs and actually increased premiums and deductibles on all working families and individuals. It forced insurance companies and individuals to have additional care that they didn't need or want which resulted in higher out of pocket expenses. We need to allow individuals and insurance companies to cater policies to individuals and families that fit their needs, not the needs of the government. We need hold service providers accountable for price gouging and have more transparency on the costs of services being provided.
MD Masudur Rahman | Participating Election
I want to defend the statewide cap on insulin spending passed by democrats recently. Additionally, passing a Medicare for all system will reduce the cost of out of pocket drug costs and reduce the impact of the cost of prescription drugs on taxpayers and insurance premiums - I'm committed to working to pass a statewide system that works with our neighboring states of New York and Massachusetts to provide every one of our residents coverage.
Julie Kushner | Participating Election
Too many residents are paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for prescription drugs that are vital to their health and well-being. I support increasing price transparency from drug manufacturers, wholesalers, insurers, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to help guide policy-making around acceptable drug costs. I voted to cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin and insulin supplies–I support setting caps for other critical, life-saving drugs to ensure people aren’t forced to ration care. I’m also interested in exploring the establishment of a state affordability board to review the costs of prescription drugs and make recommendations on those that are deemed unaffordable, which is an approach that states like Maine and New Hampshire have taken.
Robert Hotaling | Participating Election
We believe the state health plan should negotiate drug prices not only for retirees but all state residents to be reflected in every health insurance plan in the state. We’d like to use generics as much as possible where name brands are one of the reasons prescription drugs are so expensive. Currently, rebates and discounts are not reflected in the final cost to the consumer. Volume rebates and discounts are given to the providers and distributors. We need to pass these on as discounts to the consumers.
Christopher Green | Participating Election
I am glad for the work already done in Hartford and Washington to cap insulin prices, cap out of pocket expenses for prescriptions on medicare, increase competition and lower costs in general for generic drugs, and allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices. Authorizing Canadian pharmaceutical importation would be another step in the right direction.
Jillian Gilchrest | Participating Election
I will work with my colleagues on legislation to cap drug costs, like we did with insulin, and address outrageous insurance practices, like we did with co-pay accumulators.
Frank Smith | Participating Election
I support exploring more robust public options for healthcare to force competition and ensure that private options are more affordable and sustainable. I support working with our federal partners to continue to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors.
Bob Godfrey | Participating Election
I would extend the cap on insulin prices to other common drugs. I support single payer health insurance or allowing anyone to subscribe to the state's health insurance system.