Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton joined attendees for day two of the NACDS Total Store Expo Monday morning to discuss her experiences as secretary of state, leading diplomatic talks on a variety of foreign policy, and she spoke extensively about her work on health reform.
Medicare Part D, the Affordable Care Act and a steady stream of baby boomers qualifying for Medicare are all trends driving more patients to the pharmacy counter. And it’s not just prescriptions they’ll be picking up. “I personally love that more drug stores are offering healthier foods and [fitness items],” Clinton said.
On message with the industry’s “Pharmacy: The face of neighborhood health care,” Clinton noted the important role pharmacy can play to increase access to health care. “Each of you has a chance to help us find the answers and exercise leadership,” she said.
During a question-and-answer session with NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson, Clinton spoke to her efforts at healthcare reform 20 years ago during the Bill Clinton presidency. However, in that time frame healthcare costs continued to skyrocket with outcomes not commensurate with the healthcare investment made. “We don’t have enough transparency in cost,” she said.
“It’s very difficult to get cost down in a system that doesn’t coordinate care and doesn’t cover every American,” she added.
“We have a chance to really see what we can learn,” Clinton said regarding the present-day healthcare reform. “We’re on a learning curve here. That’s why what the members of the association are doing are so important.”
“I’m here today in part to thank you — America’s pharmacists and drug store [operators] are still on the front lines of healthcare delivery,” she said.
“If we follow the example of many of you … we will make progress [in realizing healthcare reform],” she added. “It is no surprise that year after year that Americans rank pharmacists among the most-trusted professionals in the country.”