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Position Regarding State Budget Cuts

Gov. Hickenlooper recently announced his plan to cut the states budget in several

key areas in an attempt to curb the economic downturn that the state is facing. While Gov.

Hickenloopers intentions may be good, HealthWay understands that these budget cuts

would have consequences for some of the most vulnerable members of the Colorado

community. The current plan would cut programs that provide prescription subsidies for

retired members of the Colorado State Employees Association and for the children of

families below the poverty level.

As Colorados leading pharmacy chain, it is clear to us how much people rely on

prescription subsidies. As the prescription provider of the Colorado State Employees

Association, we are aware that 35 percent of retired Association members are taking

advantage of the subsidy program. With the average annual cost of prescription drugs

increasing to well over $12,000, it is no surprise that seniors may have trouble paying.

With some prescriptions doubling or even quadrupling in price each year, and retirees

living off of a fixed income, it is vital to allow these individuals access to the care that they

need.
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HealthWay has also noticed the impact that these budget cuts will have on low-

income families. Upwards of 40 percent of our prescription business comes from families of

children who receive the health subsidies. With 15.1 percent of our states children living

below the poverty line, we cannot ignore the thousands of children that would be left

without vital medications on a daily basis.

Furthermore, by cutting these subsidies, the state will have the opposite effect on

the economic crisis. HealthWay and other pharmacies account for a significant portion of

the economy. By essentially eliminating over half of the current prescription business that

pharmacies thrive on, many would be forced to layoff workers or close down. In our

opinion, neither of those options is viable.

Cutting funding for state programs that provide prescription subsidies to the

Colorado residents that need it the most is not a moral or practical way to boost the states

economy. HealthWay is urging the legislators, on behalf of ourselves, our fellow

pharmacies, and the citizens of the state, to reconsider the budget cuts that are taking

place. By helping out low-income and retired Coloradoans, we will not only give our

economy the boost that it needs, but we will show that we value the happy and healthy

lifestyle that our state is all about.

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