Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry Speaks on Together Rx Access

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005  •  Speech

Thank you, Roba (Whiteley, executive director). I am honored to be joined today by leaders who share my commitment to increasing Texans’ access to healthcare.

Today we are here to let Texans who lack prescription drug benefits know that a new program called Together Rx Access is available that can help many get the prescription medication they need at a price more can afford. Together Rx Access makes prescription medication available at a discount of 25 to 40 percent for legal residents of Texas who are not eligible for Medicare, have no public or private prescription drug benefits, and have incomes at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

I encourage every Texan who needs prescription medication to treat diabetes, cancer, depression, allergies, arthritis or other conditions to find out if this program, which involves no enrollment costs, can help them get the medicine that can improve their health and quality of life. And we are asking members of the media to help us get the word out all across the state: if any adult or child needs a prescription and does not have prescription drug benefits, the medicine you need may be available at a discount by signing up for the free Together Rx Access program. Our goal is to sign up as many eligible Texans as possible.

Texans can log onto Together Rx Access-dot-com to find out if they are eligible to participate. The process is simple, takes just a few minutes, and can save low-income consumers hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on prescription medications. On the website, Texans can learn which medications are covered under the program, more than 275 in all, and those who enroll will automatically be notified if they are eligible for other programs that may help them get prescriptions filled free of charge.

The Together Rx Access program is an expansion of another initiative launched by many of these same sponsors that has saved 1.5 million low-income seniors across the nation over $700 million since 2002. For a state like Texas where too few citizens have health insurance or prescription drug benefits, Together Rx Access can raise the quality of life for thousands of Texas families. The most alarming statistic about healthcare in Texas is not that we rank 18th in the nation for the percentage of children covered by Medicaid, but that we rank 46th for the percentage of children covered by employer-sponsored health insurance. I am proud of the significant steps we have taken to help small employers afford health insurance plans for their employees and their families, including removing mandates that have lowered the cost of some plans by as much as 30 percent, and making it easier for small businesses to pool together to get better deals on health plans. But until we can succeed in the goal of making healthcare affordable for every employer, programs like Together Rx Access are of vital importance and can help us fill the gap.

I want to thank the 10 companies who have banded together to help more Americans get the medicine they need, as well as the many advocacy groups represented today that will help us get the word out to every corner of the state. May God bless you and the work you do. Thank you.

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