State election results expected to alter healthcare industry

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State election results expected to alter healthcare industry

By Brian Berk - 11/22/2016

ARLINGTON, Va. — Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton could of course mean major changes for the drug and pharmaceutical industry, particularly the Affordable Care Act.


Although lesser publicized, a number of state races could also have a profound effect on the healthcare industry. NACDS outlined several of these changes in its “Analysis of 2016 State Elections.” Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho and Kansas either had proposals on this year’s ballot regarding health or expect the topic to be of great importance in 2017. Here’s a look at each:


ALASKA  — The 49th State will likely have healthcare legislative platforms under consideration for 2017, including wholesaler licensure and substitution of interchangeable biosimilars.


CALIFORNIA  — The Golden State had Proposition 61 on this year’s ballot, which would have limited the prices state agencies pay for prescription drugs to no more what the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs pays. The program would have applied to any program in which the state was the ultimate payer for a drug, including Medi-Cal, CalPERS, prison inmates and people receiving AIDS provided by the government. However, the proposition failed.


COLORADO  — Voters defeated Amendment 69, also called ColoradoCare, a universal single payer health plan for Coloradans. A minimum wage increase to a state minimum of $12 per hour was passed though.


GEORGIA — According to NACDS, healthcare and education issues are expected to dominate the 2017 legislative session. Prior to the election, some Republicans suggested they would consider expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But Trump’s victory could put these discussions on hold, stated NACDS.


IDAHO — In 2017, the Board of Pharmacy will seek approval of a variety of rules including expansion of the role of pharmacy technicians to optimize patient care.


KANSAS  — Moderate Republicans have been blocked from moving forward on Medicaid expansion for the past several years by a more conservative majority, but may bring this issue back before the legislature in 2017, depending on possible federal Medicaid reform efforts, according to NACDS. Health advocate Vicky Schmidt easily won re-election, while Don Hill, the only pharmacist in the state House of Representatives, retired.


A number of other state healthcare advocates won re-election. These states include Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York and North Carolina.


On the flip side, pharmacist Wendell Gaston unsuccessfully ran in the Republican primary in Nebraska’s 47th District and Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, the only pharmacist in the State of Washington’s legislature, has retired.


For more of Drug Store News’ election coverage, click here