Baltimore City resident Arthur Green has cancer. He’s 70 years old and his social security check isn’t enough to cover both his monthly living expenses and hospital bills.
“They’re [hospital bills are] in the thousands. I’m retired and I cannot make ends meet, so I’m looking for a solution,” Green said.
His story isn’t unusual.
Dozens gathered Friday at the Wexler Senior Center for an event hosted by advocacy group Maryland Healthcare for All to learn how the Inflation Reduction Act and the Maryland Board of Prescription Affordability may help.
U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, who represents the third congressional district in Maryland, said the federal Reduction Act will cap out of pocket drug spending at $2,000 a year in 2025 for Medicare recipients.
“This is significant for thousands of people in the State of Maryland whose costs exceed that, whose out of pocket costs exceed that and when you’re paying that much for drugs, it means you’re having to cut back on other things you need. It’s just not affordable,” Sarbanes said.
The federal legislation will cap out-of-pocket monthly spending on insulin at $35 a month for Medicare recipients, make all vaccines free, and give the Medicare program the ability to negotiate prices of certain higher cost medications.
“Because we’re now making sure those prescription drugs are more affordable when Medicare goes to buy them, this bill is actually going to save the federal government close to $240 million over the next 10 years,” he said.