The first primaries of the 2020 presidential election are just under a year away, but the madness has already begun. It seems the campaigning starts earlier and earlier every cycle. Democratic candidates who have already announced are busy making the rounds of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Others are still debating whether they’re going to come down off the fence, former MA Governor Bill Weld may try to primary Trump, and then there’s Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. While many of you are probably thinking the 2020 election can’t come soon enough, the media focus on likability, the correct way to eat chicken, crowd size, and to hot sauce or not is already getting tiresome. Regardless of who will end up on the top of the tickets, there is one thing for certain-healthcare will be a central issue.
Closer to home, Indivisible Berks and other grassroots organizations across the state have, through canvassing and other activities, learned that healthcare and associated topics are foremost in the minds of Pennsylvanians and Berks Countians. Now we all know how the dysfunction and the lobbyists in Washington prevent true reform from being accomplished. So we’ve decided to take things into our own hands, and there’s a lot we can do at the state level. To help the community learn about some of those options, Indivisible Berks will be hosting a public forum on healthcare reform in PA on February 21st. Our guests will be from PHAN, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, who will share their expertise on all things healthcare.
As I said, healthcare is sure to be a prominent topic of discussion in the 2020 election, and thanks to PHAN, we know that it is actually a place where Republicans, Democrats, and Independents can find common ground. How do we know this? Last year the first ever Pennsylvania-specific survey was conducted, specifically on healthcare affordability. The Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey was done by Altarum’s Healthcare Value Hub with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. PHAN was chosen to release the results.
Below are some of the survey findings when participants were asked about the cost of prescription drugs:
The survey not only looked at data from across the state but also did analysis across regions. Berks falls into the South Central/Lehigh Valley for purposes of the study.
Survey results are available on PHAN's website. Click here to see the statewide results. Click here to see the South Central/Lehigh Valley results which includes Berks.
It’s no surprise that participants in the survey agreed that our system is broken, and something has to change. Let’s make sure we don’t have to wait another election cycle before something starts to happen.
posted by Amy Levengood
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