“Patients struggle to decide whether to fill their prescriptions or buy food for the week”

Ronnie Shure, a former pharmacist and current member of Puget Sound Alliance for Retirement Action, testifies before the House Committee on Health Care and Wellness in support of House Bill 1321 (Declaring the intent for all Washingtonians to have health care coverage by 2020) – he shares people have to cope with a lack of affordable health care:

My name is Ronnie Shure. I am a member of Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action. We have supported comprehensive, affordable health care for all for over a quarter of a century. We stand up for equality in health care … not just for senior citizens … but for future generations as well.

I retired after working as a pharmacist for over 40 years in a variety of public health, mental health, and substance abuse programs. I even spent 10 years in King County Jail … working as a pharmacist. During these past 40 years, I have seen patients who have struggled to find insurance and end up with only minimal coverage … who are too proud to accept charitable benefits … who struggle to decide whether to fill their prescriptions or buy food for the week … who struggle with the cost of their drugs by cutting their doses in half and refilling only the less expensive prescriptions. We need to end this struggle, because health care is a basic human right

Washington State has taken effective steps forward, but there are still 600,000 Washingtonians without health care coverage. There are many more who have insurance that does not cover essential services … they are underinsured. Now is the time to take the next step to ensure everyone has the coverage for the health care they need. This bill establishes the intent to create a system that lives up to the values of Washingtonians. Now is the time to work with stakeholders on all sides to create a system that truly works for all of us.

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