My name is Robert Keller. I’m a 66-year old resident of Parsippany, NJ.

I have dealt with Type 1 diabetes for more than 40 years and I’ve had a kidney transplant. I have relied on long-term disability due to my diabetic symptoms. This allowed me to not only afford my medication, but also to stay at home with my two sons and take care of them. It’s been challenging, but I prefer to see the bright side of things. I got to stay at home with my two sons and be the best dad I could be. I taught them to fish, I was involved as a school parent, and even the only stay-at-home dad at the school’s Mother’s Tea.

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But my disability income ended last year, and now many of my healthcare costs depend on my wife. She is 65 and still working, with no retirement in sight because of the high costs of my medication. She can’t stop working because if we were to use Medicare, my medication would cost my family up to $1,800 per month. That’s completely unaffordable. 

I wish that my wife could retire and we could move to Medicare, but because of the high cost of medication, that simply isn’t an option. I believe that Medicare should be able to negotiate lower drug prices for their beneficiaries. If they were to negotiate down the cost of my medication, my wife and I would enjoy a higher quality of life. 

I share my story because I want others to value good health, to thank God for it, but also, to try to take a walk in other people’s shoes. Think about when it might be you or a loved one in that hospital bed –– and how you would like to be treated. I can assure you you’d want to be able to afford your medicines.