Opinion: Issue 2 Saves Lives and Money

Michael Stinziano Michael Stinziano Opinion: Issue 2 Saves Lives and MoneyPhoto via Flickr.
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There’s a reason the Yes on Issue 2 campaign has been endorsed by Bernie Sanders and his Our Revolution organization as well as the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, National Nurses United, Vote Vets, and Ohio’s Green Party. Senator Sanders and these organizations know voting yes on Issue 2, the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, is an opportunity to say yes to saving lives and saving tax dollars.

More than 70 percent of Americans believe drug costs are unreasonable and that drug companies are putting profits ahead of people. Issue 2 changes the game by giving the State of Ohio the power to lower drug prices and show big drug companies that we are done letting them exploit patient pain for their profits.

While there may be much confusion around Issue 2, largely due to misleading advertising pushed by big drug companies, the decision is simple. Voting yes for Issue 2 will reduce drug prices for up to 4 million Ohioans and potentially save taxpayers $400 million in inflated drug charges that could be used to help schools, fix roads, and support our police and fire departments. That’s $400 million that goes back to Ohio instead of into the pockets of pharmaceutical companies.

What voters need to understand about Issue 2 is that big pharmaceutical companies want you to vote against Issue 2. They want to keep things exactly the way they are so that they can continue to milk outrageous profits out of people like you and me while charging other countries around the world a fraction of what we pay.

Did you know a monthly supply of Advair, an asthma drug that sells for $154 in the United States costs only about $10 in India? The drug companies are taking advantage of us. And Ohio lets them. It’s time for change.

They’re pouring millions and millions of dollars into their campaign to fight Issue 2 because they know that if this issue passes in Ohio, other states and other providers, like private insurance, will follow suit. This is the first important step to lowering drug prices. Ohio can be a leader in this fight.

To argue that passing Issue 2 will raise drug prices is disingenuous. We know this because drug companies have already been raising drug prices for years and years without this legislation. Passing Issue 2 will help to keep this growth in check for many Ohioans.

The outcome of whether or not someone stays healthy should not be determined by their ability to afford their medicines. Ohioans deserve better. A yes vote on Issue 2 will help people throughout Columbus and the rest of the state because it will lower drug prices and save tax dollars for all Ohioans. I ask you to vote yes on Issue 2.

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