January 27, 2014--Longtime pharmacy supporter Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) was tapped by congressional leaders late last week to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, January 28.
McMorris Rodgers, a consistently stalwart pharmacy advocate, introduced bipartisan legislation—the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013—with Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Lee Terry (R-NE) and Bruce Bradley (D-IA) to expand access to medication therapy management (MTM) services for senior citizens enrolled in the Medicare program.
When she sponsored the legislation in March 2013, McMorris Rodgers noted that more than half of patients do not take their medications correctly and that seniors are particularly vulnerable. She said, “These health risks—and the exorbitant costs associated with them—can be substantially reduced if MTM is expanded.”
It is significant that pharmacy issues are prominently on the radar of a rising political star. McMorris Rodgers, a five-term representative who chairs the House Republican Conference, is currently the top-ranking Republican woman in Congress.
McMorris Rodgers does more than speak and advocate on behalf of important pro-pharmacy positions, she is an accessible and involved representative who actively participated in NACDS’ signature advocacy event, NACDS RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, in ­­­­2012. McMorris Rodgers delivered the keynote address for the event, where she underscored her commitment to advancing commonsense legislation that improves healthcare delivery for all Americans.
The nation’s eyes will be focused on McMorris Rodgers Tuesday night as she steps into a prominent political spotlight to deliver remarks directly following President Obama’s speech. It is good to know that a congressional leader with a top spot on the political stage is in pharmacy’s corner when it comes to improving patient health and ensuring healthcare is more affordable.