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2007-3

Protecting and Improving Health and Access to Healthcare and Prescription Medicines for Low and Modest-income Individuals

Representative Joseph E. Miro (DE)

WHEREAS, the length and quality of life, and the continued health of all people in this society depend on quality healthcare and often on prescription medicines;

WHEREAS, the cost of healthcare and prescription medicines may cause access issues for individuals of limited means, and

WHEREAS, about four in ten Hispanics who bought prescription drugs in the past year had a problem paying for prescription drugs and one-third of all the Hispanics took at least one measure that could be potentially harmful to their health because they could not afford the drugs they needed;

WHEREAS, six in ten Hispanics are concerned about their ability to access needed prescription medications over the next two years;

WHEREAS, it is in the public interest for states to exercise their powers to provide their citizens with means and methods of improving access to healthcare and prescription medicines;

WHEREAS, states have the ability to help provide access to healthcare and prescription medicines to many consumers in need who have either inadequate or no healthcare coverage;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators that it is the responsibility of elected officials to work to ensure access to necessary healthcare and prescription medicines for lower income and minority populations;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators that its members dedicate themselves to supporting a thorough evaluation of the status of access to healthcare, including prescription medicines, by Hispanics in their respective states;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, THAT the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators strongly supports a range of state efforts to enhance access to both public and private healthcare and prescription drug programs in order to improve access to those consumers in need;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, THAT these state efforts should include Spanish language education and outreach programs to facilitate enrollment in these programs;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, THAT because the ability of Hispanics to access healthcare, including prescription medicines, varies from state to state, individual states should craft responses that best address the needs of each of these communities;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, THAT states should share and adopt appropriate promising practices from other states that have successfully covered the un and underinsured in order to improve access to healthcare and prescription medicines for all consumers.

This resolution was adopted on November 17, 2007, at the NHCSL Annual Executive Committee Meeting held during the NHCSL 5th National Summit in Miami, Florida.

Sponsored by Representative Joseph Miro, DE