Ohio’s Prescription Drug Issue: What You Need to Know
In November, Ohio voters will go to the polls to vote on Issue 2. Issue 2 is a deceptive and vaguely-worded ballot issue that would impose unworkable contracting requirements for state prescription drug purchases based on prices paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
It’s important to understand how Issue 2 would affect medical professionals and the patients they treat. Dr. Henry Wehrum is a physician who has been practicing in Ohio for more than 28 years. Like many of Ohio’s doctors, he worries that Issue 2 will have the opposite effect of what it intends.
“Issue 2 makes false promises about lowering drug costs,” Wherum said. “It’s being opposed by Ohio doctors, nurses and pharmacists because we believe it will actually increase drug costs for millions of Ohioans.”
Because Issue 2 only applies to state agencies and entities, two of every three Ohioans — including those who have private or employer-based insurance, veterans, and seniors who rely on Medicare — could face increased drug costs.
Other Ohio health care experts are also concerned about the potential consequences of Issue 2. Three former Ohio Medicaid directors who served in both Democratic and Republican administrations analyzed the proposal and concluded that it would be nearly impossible to implement. They said that even if it could be implemented, it is unlikely to reduce drug costs and could reduce patient access to important medicines.
Major Ohio newspapers have also come out against Issue 2. The Columbus Dispatch concluded that the measure is “loaded with unknown costs, consequences and potential harms for some of Ohio’s most vulnerable residents.” The Akron Beacon Journal declared it to be “all message and too little detail.” And both papers recognized that the Issue 2 proponents’ savings estimates are questionable.
Of particular concern, however, is unprecedented provision that Issue 2 backers wrote into the initiative giving its sponsors a special right to intervene in legal challenges to the law if it is passed, and requires that Ohio taxpayers pay their legal bills, win or lose.
Issue 2 is backed by Michael Weinstein, a California health care CEO who is funding this initiative through his nonprofit organization, which makes 80 percent of its money selling prescription drugs. He proposed a similar measure last year in California, which voters soundly rejected. Now, he’s bringing his risky plan to Ohio.
Voters should read the facts about Issue 2 for themselves at www.deceptiverxissue.org/faq/. Read the ballot language in black and white at www.whatisissue2.com and see why The Columbus Dispatch calls Issue 2 “dangerous” for Ohio.
Don’t fall for the deception. Vote NO on Issue 2 on November 7.
PAID FOR BY OHIOANS AGAINST THE DECEPTIVE Rx BALLOT ISSUE
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