One of the democrat candidates for governor is traveling around the state today to talk about his plan for senior citizens. Michael Blouin spoke this morning at a senior center on the south side of Des Moines. He says in the face of our aging state, Iowa must conduct a study on the costs, needs and availability of long-term care options to determine how the state can provide more long-term options to citizens.
Blouin also focused on the cost of prescription drugs. Blouin says even though the prescription drug program is federally run, the state can do some things to reduce cost. Blouin says, “We have to know who’s making how much. And if we can find out how what these intermediates are making, and how much they’re passing on and how much they’re keeping themselves, we can have an impact on that price structure overall.”
Blouin says the state has to take the initiative and seek to cut costs. He says if the state can get successful in determining what areas can go down, then he says Iowa could form a buying consortium with other states to bring costs down. But he says, “But until we know who to swing at, and how much to swing, we’re really toothless.”
Blouin says the state’s may be able to cut out the expenses that are added to drugs in the middle between the company and consumer. Blouin says maybe the states can become the middle man. He says there are only four bulk purchasers of prescription drugs in the country. Blouin says the drug purchasers have hundreds of lobbyists because they’re making millions of dollars.
Blouin also calls for state money to help put all information on long-term care on-line. And Blouin says the state needs to provide better screening and treatment for veterans. Blouin resigned from his job as the state director of economic development in July to run for governor. The other democrats in the race are: State Representative Ed Fallon of Des Moines, Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge, Secretary of State Chet Culver, Sal Mohammad and Vernon Weems.