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Vice President Kamala Harris made an appearance on Thursday afternoon at the Durham Center for Senior Life (DCSL). During her trip, she highlighted the administration’s commitment to lowering costs through the Inflation Reduction Act through healthcare and prescription medication for seniors.
The Black Wall Street Times spoke with two seniors in attendance to get their perspective on how the Biden-Harris administration is addressing their most urgent medical needs.
When reflecting on the speech, DCSL resident Celeste Booney stated, “It was wonderful. They spoke about the pharmaceutical companies that have been taking advantage of seniors for years and that’s finally ending.”
With the rising costs of insulin, seniors are often left to bare the brunt of political decisions. The United States has the highest insulin prices in the world, at an average of $98.70 per vial across all forms of the drug. That’s nearly seven times higher than the country with the next most expensive insulin, Japan, which averages $14.40 for the drug, according to a recent RAND Corporation report.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes a provision to cap insulin co-pays at $35 per vial for insured Americans, but that measure failed when the majority of Senate Republicans blocked its passage. Even still, the new law caps out-of-pocket costs among Medicare recipients at $35, a provision that takes effect on January 1.
“Things that take pennies to make, they charge us 100 times more.” We are so happy [that she came] to tell us some good news for a change,” says Booney.
Some residents didn’t even know VP Harris would be arriving until the day of, but once they were aware, there was nothing getting in between them and the second-in-commmand.
For many residents, it was there first time seeing not only a White House official, let alone the Vice President of the United States. “She was beautiful, very articulate, smart, she knows what’s happening with the country and the people,” noted Booney.
Asked about what they’d like to see the Biden-Harris Administration do moving forward to make other medicines more affordable, Booney remarked, “Just follow through.”
Representation matters regardless of age
“It means alot to see her. We showed up and showed out,” said Brenda Bell, a resident of DCSL. “So many people were outside standing, they didn’t care if they couldn’t find a seat. They just wanted to be here.”
“It wasn’t about Black or White. It’s who she is. She’s for the people. Biden is for the people. We as women were here to support her,” reiterated Bell.
Speaking about her presence once she left, Bell stated, “I felt full.”
The seniors were also pleased by VP Harris’ impromptu decision to visit an adjacent day care to briefly visit with children playing. “Things like that let you know what’s important to a person,” said Bell.