Rep. Jackson Joins West Texas Colleagues In Defense Of Rural Healthcare Access For Servicemembers, Veterans
Last week, Representative Ronny Jackson (TX-13) joined two of his Republican colleagues from West Texas, Representatives Jodey Arrington (TX-19) and August Pfluger (TX-11), in criticizing the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) decision to move forward with Cigna/Express Script’s reduced reimbursement plan.
The new contract, which went into effect on October 24, 2022, would not only put large chains out of reach for servicemembers and their families, but it would also cut roughly 15,000 independent and community pharmacies out of the TRICARE network. This policy will have a severe impact on the wellbeing of thousands of individuals who serve or have served our nation honorably.
Jackson said: “As a veteran and physician who represents one of the most rural districts in America, I know firsthand how much my constituents rely on local, independent pharmacies for their prescriptions. Servicemembers and veterans who live in rural and underserved communities already face challenges accessing the care they’ve rightfully earned. This decision only makes the problem worse, something I will not let slide. Our servicemembers and veterans deserve much, much better.”
Arrington said: “Independent and community pharmacies serve as the lifeline for thousands of servicemembers throughout our nation that have made a great sacrifice to earn their TRICARE benefits, including right here at home in West Texas. Less pharmacies participating in TRICARE diminishes access to healthcare in rural America and hinders small businesses across our country.”
Pfluger said: “This predatory contract between DHA and Express Scripts will strip pharmaceutical access from TRICARE beneficiaries and jeopardize access to independent pharmacies for rural and underserved communities. Given the number of TRICARE beneficiaries and local pharmacies negatively impacted by these reduced reimbursements, it is critical that Secretary Austin provides timely answers. Our military community deserves much better than this.”