The high cost of medication and insurance coverage were top issues expressed to Dalton Glasscock, field representative/constitutne services for 4th District Congressman Ron Estes during a recent visit to Pratt.

Medications are too high priced. That was the message Dalton Glasscock, field representative/constituent services for 4th Dist. Congressman Ron Estes, got when he visited Pratt on July 28.

Glasscock set up a table in the lobby of the Pratt County Courthouse to listen to Estes constituents and their concerns on any subject. For Anita and Randy Fritz and Carl Glenn, the only ones to show up, the overwhelming concern for them was the high cost of medication and how they were expected to pay for it on limited budget.

Anita Fritz said it didn't seem to matter that there were generic drugs available, the insurance companies required them to take the name brands that are much more expensive.

Fritz said she had to take one drug that cost $800 a month while Carl had to pay $600 for one drug that he absolutely had to have.

Fritz wants to see a cap on what drug companies could charge for medications because, for many people, in the long run, they have to either eat or die because of the cost of their medications.

Some doctors prescribe medication that they know doesn't work and why should people take those medications, Glenn said.

Glasscock said Estes doesn't want the federal government to be in health care and he wants the Affordable Health Care Act repealed.

Besides the cost of medicine, its also expensive to go to the doctors the insurance companies choose. Last year, Fritz drove 10,000 miles on doctor's visits.

It was frustrating for Glenn to know that a third party that didn't know him was making decisions in some other state about his health care.

"There needs to be a standard for what they do," Glenn said. "The shouldn't be self controlled."

If he has to pay for all his meds, he has to pay $1,000 out of pocket because his insurance won't cover the cost. And for Glenn, he has no choice. If doesn't have his meds, he won't be here.

"They (insurance companies) want us to die," Glenn said.

Glen wants medicines to be tax deductible. He is also frustrated that medicine that costs $600 a month in Kansas is available for $96 in Canada but he can't bring that medicine to the U.S.

A cap of $100 should be placed on pills. Fritz has to take one pill twice a day and it costs her $9 for each pill but she has to have them.

The cost of health care is a topic on both sides of the aisle, said Glasscock how works for Estes policy office.

"I'll take your concerns back to the congressman," Glasscock said. "I'll check on a pharmaceutical cap."

Glasscock urged them to call their congressman and tell him what's happening with their health care.

Fritz said she had contacted her senator about a problem with black pigs that were killing her calves. A Texas Ranger showed up at her door asking permission to hunt the pigs from the air and she agreed. They ran out of gas and couldn't come back to hunt more but Fritz said she would get them gas. It turns out Randy Fritz was Sam Brownback's roommate in college so she was able to use her clout and got the gas the Texas Rangers needed to come back and hunt the pigs so Fritz knows that calling can make a difference.

Glenn was also frustrated that the military was not paying the travel expenses when soldiers came home on leave. His nephew came home from South Korea for a 30 day leave and the family had to pay $1,092 for his travel expenses. The nephew, who has five children at home, is serving a half mile from the DMZ and has to pay his own way home. That's just not right, Glenn said.

"If you're on active duty, the government should pay for it (travel expenses)," Glenn said.

Estes plans on visiting Pratt sometime later in August. His visit plans will be released at a later date.

@GaleR_Tribune