Floyd Newberry Jr Donna F Lang Gene Warren Dwight L Fulton Virginia A O’Neil Anne L Durbin-Thomas Marietta Dunn Charles L Latchford Broncos win ‘Battle of 32’ Lady Broncos claim win over Bethel-Tate Jays top Warriors, fall to Mustangs Lady Warriors claim top spot in SHAC with win over Lynchburg-Clay Broncos buck the Lions, 54-51 James N DeHaas Questions still linger in Stuart explosion New direction for Brittany Stykes case New public safety director now on duty in Brown Co. Fayetteville Mayor anticipates a good year for the village Chamber of Commerce announces awardees Robert Bechdolt Carl E Lindsey Audrey F Maher LeJeune Howser Tammy L Connor Henry C Mayhall Jr Chad Spilker Frank W Kemmeter Jr Wanda J Howard Dorothy Huff Colon C Malott Eastern varsity teams come out on top to capture Brown County Holiday Classic crowns WBHS Army JROTC hosts rifle shooting competition Bronco varsity wrestling team unbeaten at 8-0 Blue Jays finish 1-1 in Ripley Pepsi Classic Mona G Van Vooren Hiram Beardsworth Avery W McCleese Ethel E Long Children learn safety from ‘Officer Phil’ Microchips can help locate lost pets Local GOP plans trip to Washington Three sentenced in common pleas Estel Earhart Roy Stewart Tenacious ‘D’ leads Lady Jays to victory over Blanchester on day one of Ripley Pepsi Classic Fayetteville’s Thompson, Jester earn SWOFCA All-City honors Jays fall to Blanchester on first day of Pepsi Classic Ticket details announced for OHSAA basketball and wrestling state tournaments Jerri K McKenzie Randy D Vaughn Georgetown JR/SR high to have new library Georgetown saw many improvements in 2016 Three sentenced in common pleas court Esther O Brown G-Men go on scoring rampage for 77-41 win over Cardinals Warriors climb to 4-2 with wins over West Union, Lynchburg Rockets top Whiteoak for first win Shirley M Bray Carter Lumber closes in G’town Wenstrup looks forward to 2017 Seven indicted by county grand jury John Ruthven holds pre-Christmas Open House New pet boarding facility now open in Georgetown Denver W Emmons Carl W Liebig Mary L McKinley Blake C Roush Louis A Koewler William D Cornetet Western Brown dedicates Perry Ogden Court Lady Warrior win streak hits 5 Lady Rockets wrap up tough week on the hardwood Barons rally for win over Broncos Georgetown to hire two paid Firefighter/EMT’s Noble receives statewide law enforcement award County helps family in need after house fire Flashing signs banned in G’town historic district ‘Christmas Extravaganza’ at Gaslight Thelma L Ernst Roy L Bruce Ken Leimberger Cathye J Bunthoff Lending a holiday helping hand G’Town Christmas Parade enjoyed by spectators Mt. Orab Auto Mall collects over 1,100 canned goods for local families “Celebration of Lights” held at fairgrounds Thirteen indicted by grand jury Lady Warriors hit the hardwood with high expectations Warriors reload after graduating four starters Six seniors hit the hardwood for Rockets Lady Rockets packed with size, talent Lady G-Men to rely heavily on young talent G-Men seek improvement after last year’s three-win season Skilled crew on the return for the Blue Jays Broncos begin quest for SBAAC American Div. crown Lady Broncos working hard toward SBAAC American Div. title after finishing as league runner-up last season Experienced crew of Lady Jays return to the hardwood Stephen C Foster Mary J Fitzgerald Tyler Hesler

Fighting to reduce prescription drug costs

Just like Medicare – which celebrated its 50th Anniversary last week – prescription drugs have helped Americans live longer and healthier lives.

But for too many Americans, the high cost of prescription drugs forces them to choose between taking their full dosage and putting food on the table or keeping their lights on.

And drug costs are on the rise. A report released last month by the Medicare Trustees found an alarming 10.9 percent increase in the cost of drugs offered through Medicare’s prescription drug plans last year – primarily due to the high prices of new and specialty drugs.

That’s why I’m cosponsoring legislation that would increase access to more affordable prescription medications for seniors. This would drive down the costs for more than 24 million Americans, including the more than one million Ohioans enrolled in one of Medicare’s Part D prescription drug plans.

The Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act would allow seniors to enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan administered directly by Medicare, instead of a private insurance company.

You should be able to get drug coverage directly through Medicare, not be forced to buy from a middle man. Unfortunately, in order to get drug coverage through Medicare, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or another private company. These plans vary in cost and coverage.

My legislation would provide for a consistent Part D plan administered directly by the Medicare program, and would allow Medicare to negotiate the best prescription medication prices for seniors.

Current law expressly bans Medicare from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for the best possible prices – even though the government can often negotiate bigger discounts than private insurance companies.

For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs uses this type of negotiating authority and has cut name brand drug prices by as much as 50 percent. My legislation would save taxpayers money while providing seniors with a high-quality, affordable prescription drug plan.

It’s not enough to just celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid. We must defend Medicare for future generations and make sure it works for today’s seniors.

Sherrod Brown is a United States Senator from the state of Ohio.

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Senator Sherrod Brown

Contributing Columnist

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