As a Combat Veteran and a Purple Heart recipient, I’m dismayed by the ads saying that passing Issue 2, the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, will raise drug prices for vets. With all due respect to my veteran brothers in these ads, that statement is not true.
Drug companies can’t just raise prices on our medications because there are federal legal protections that keep them from doing this. The very system of VA drug pricing we use today is in place because these same drug companies tried to engage in price-gouging vets as they came home from the Gulf War – seeking to inflict financial scars on top of the scars they were already bringing home.
In 1967, I was wounded serving with the US Marine Corps in Vietnam, and I’ve been in a wheelchair since then. Since my time in the military I have dedicated my life to public service as a Clark County commissioner for 28 years, so I know how state and local government work together. I’ve also been honored to serve as the Chairman of the Governor’s Office of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee, working under two governors: Ted Strickland and John Kasich.
I support Issue 2 because we vets have fought for too much abroad to be bullied at home by drug companies who are more concerned with profits over the people they serve.
Voting on Issue 2 helps all Ohioans by saving tax money and reducing drug prices. You should know that all the money funding the opposition is coming from the same greedy drug companies who willfully charge hundreds and even thousands of dollars for medicines that cost them a small fraction to produce. These are also the same drug companies who pushed addictive opioid drugs in our communities and created a damaging epidemic. Don’t be confused by them. That’s what they’re counting on.
And all those “experts” they’ve used in their ads and materials? They’re paid consultants.
I am not being paid. I’m just trying to do what’s right for Ohio and for my veteran brothers and sisters. People forget that not all veterans are eligible to receive VA benefits. There are countless vets who struggle to afford their medicines every day and passing Issue 2 is the only way to start to lower drug prices for all veterans and their families. These men and women deserve our respect and our support, they do not deserve to be bullied by corporate interests.
Voting YES on Issue 2 will go a long way to helping to lower drug prices for millions of Ohioans. The status quo is not sustainable, and the system is rigged against patients. But, the good news is, we can do something about it. We can vote YES on Issue 2.
Roger Tackett, is a Combat Veteran and Purple Heart Recipient. He served as a Commissioner in Clark County (Ohio) for 28 years and formerly served as the Chairman of the Governor’s Office of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee, working under two governors: Ted Strickland and John Kasich.