Philo D. Hall, Senior Counsel in the firm’s Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Managed Healthcare Executive, in “In Healthcare, Plenty of Political Action Happens at the State Level,” by Mari Edlin.

Following is an excerpt:

Getting into generics

In September, President Donald Trump signed an executive order designed to lower prescription drug prices, but its practical effects are months away and may never occur because of court challenges (and, obviously, the outcome of the election). Meanwhile, 33 states passed laws in 2019 that addressed drug prices.

There are no state-level drug pricing ballot initiatives this year, but Philo D. Hall, a senior counsel in healthcare and life sciences practice at Epstein Becker Green law firm believes that drug pricing is “another issue ripe for ballot measures,” especially with state legislatures becoming more assertive in attempting to limit the amounts that states pay for prescription drugs and requiring pricing disclosures from pharmacy benefit managers. Late last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law legislation that will create a new state-sponsored drug label, Cal Rx, for generics. California is also changing the purchasing policy of its large Medicaid program so that next year it starts buying directly from drugmakers. …

Not on the ballot: Medicaid expansion

The focus of so much fierce campaigning and ardent politicking at the state level in the past few elections, Medicaid expansion, is taking this November off.

Oklahoma voters approved a Medicaid expansion ballot measure in June, and Missouri voters approved one in August. The issue may make it on to the ballot in Florida in 2022; an organizing committee there decided to delay their target till then. Democrats in South Dakota are also eyeing 2022 as the year they will be ready to put Medicaid expansion in front
of voters.

“Given the success of Medicaid expansion through ballot measures in states where governors or legislatures opposed expansion, we should expect to see the same tactic attempted in some of the remaining states,” says Philo D. Hall, a senior counsel in healthcare and life sciences practice at Epstein Becker Green law firm and a HHS policy advisor during the George W. Bush administration. The more time that passes from passage of the ACA in 2010, the more palatable Medicaid expansion becomes for many voters who opposed “Obamacare,” Hall says.

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