Healthcare and Seniors Issues
Bill Straus has been among the state legislature’s leaders in offering initiatives to reduce prescription drug prices for people in Massachusetts. He was among the first to offer legislation permitting bulk purchasing by the State as a way to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. For several years, he served as a member of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Care.
For those seniors who are facing the toughest choices on affording their medicines, Bill voted to establish the Prescription Advantage Program in Massachusetts. Even though Governor Romney sought to completely abolish the program in 2003, Bill was among those who defended the program and voted to maintain it within a balanced State Budget.
Bill’s other health care initiatives include important research programs on Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Autism. For his work on Autism and the families affected by this condition, Bill received special recognition in 2003 from the Doug Flutie Foundation.
Bill has also voted to protect funding for essential health care programs which have been targeted by Mitt Romney. Bill voted to restore funding cuts imposed by the Governor for the current year in such programs as Turning 22 (for mentally handicapped adults), Home Health Care for seniors, Breast and Cervical Cancer prevention, Prostate Cancer screening and Emergency Medical Service preparedness funding. Bill was also among those who successfully stood up to Governor Romney’s proposal in January of 2004 to abolish state funding for the school nurse program in our public schools. While there are some who call these ideas of the Governor ‘reform’, Bill believes we must defend these health programs and can do so within the balanced budgets which the Legislature has approved.