La Crosse cancer survivor advocates for American Cancer Society

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – A La Crosse woman is advocating for lawmakers to oppose change being proposed to Medicare Part D drug coverage.

Mariah Forster Olson recently traveled to Washington D.C. to speak on behalf of The American Cancer Society. 

Forster Olson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of one. Today, at the age of 39, she is cancer free but said she has been battling chronic pain for the last 25 years.

She said she’s terrified to think what would happen if proposed changes to Medicare Part D went into effect.

“If the proposed changes go through they would be very difficult for people like me because it would take access away to certain medications,” explained Forster Olson.

Under direction from the Trump administration, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is proposing changes to Medicare Part D. That’s a federal program that subsidizes prescription drug costs for seniors and people with disabilities.

CMS wants to amend what is called the six protected classes rule,where some medicare beneficiaries, like people who have cancer, can have access to more than two different drugs within a therapeutic class.

With the Trump administration focusing on making healthcare more affordable, they said this change would introduce market competition lowering drug prices and increasing access to medication.

“Even if you’re on an established prescription regimen for it, it doesn’t matter how long and even if your doctor disagrees and thinks this is your best course of action, they want to start you on a cheaper medication,” said Forster Olson.

We reached out to a representative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and were told that the comment period for the proposed rules closed on January 25 and as a matter of policy, they do not comment further during the rule-making process.

Brittany Lake

Brittany Lake

Daybreak Anchor

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