Nationwide, people of color are at a greater risk of being uninsured than are whites, and they face many more obstacles to accessing the health care they need. The disparities in the availability of quality health care are mirrored by poorer health outcomes among people of color. Although Washington is considered a leader in health care, when it comes to health coverage, people of color still fare far worse here than do whites. Increased commitment to health care access – and not a withdrawal from prior commitments – is needed to reverse our state’s great health care inequality. Fixing the grave racial disparities in Washington’s health care system must become a priority of our government.
While some states have pursued strategies that harm consumers and do not address rising prescription drug prices, other states have started negotiating with drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs and are already saving money. By using multi-agency and multi-state prescription drug purchasing pools and/or preferred drug lists, states have projected or realized savings of 5 to 15 percent of their total prescription drug costs.