Kansas Senate approves bill to decrease Medicaid drug costs
Associated Press - February 10, 2016 7:05 pm
A top Democratic lawmaker says he is joining the crowded race to replace Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita announced his candidacy Saturday. He had named former Democratic Party chairman Lee Kinch as his campaign treasurer earlier this week.
The Kansas Senate has approved a bill designed to cut Kansas’ costs in providing prescription drugs for poor and disabled residents.
The chamber’s vote Wednesday was 23-16, sending the measure to the House.
The bill would allow the state’s Medicaid program to use so-called step therapies for prescriptions that require patients to try less expensive drugs before obtaining more expensive ones.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback included the measure in his plan for eliminating a projected deficit of nearly $200 million in the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. His administration believes the state would save nearly $11 million annually.
Supporters say the measure is a cost-saving method already used in private health plans. Critics believe it could deny patients much-needed medications.