House Committee Endorses Jonesboro Lawmaker's Bill to Lower Prescription Drugs - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR - Melissa Simas reports

House Committee Endorses Jonesboro Lawmaker's Bill to Lower Prescription Drugs

February 15, 2005 - posted at 1:33 p.m. CST-- updated 5:30 p.m.

Little Rock, AR - The House Democratic Caucus is endorsing a bill that passed the Public Health Committee on Tuesday and will move on to the house floor. HB1241 by Representative Dustin McDaniel (D) of Jonesboro would lower retail prescription drug prices in Arkansas. The bill operates by allowing the State Department of Human Services (DHS) to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices through rebates attributed to bulk sales.

"States are banding together," said McDaniel. "They're using the buying power of their citizenry so that they can create a Sam's Club for drugs."

McDaniel has crafted an RX plan that he says mirrors programs in 13 other states. Those eligible for the program include: residents of the state who are not otherwise enrolled in or covered by a prescription drug benefit or insurance plan, including medicaid and medicare. Qualified recipients must be 65 years or older, or have a family income equal to or less than 350% of the federal poverty level.

"This is not an insurance benefit. This is not an expansion of medicaid," added McDaniel.

The newly elected lawmaker from Region 8 estimates 400,000 uninsured Arkansans would be eligible for this assistance. To get involved, members must pay a $25 annual fee.

Critics of McDaniel's RX proposal are mostly represented by pharmaceutical companies, who fear this would cause unintended consequences for seniors.

"Only 17% of our seniors avail themselves of these discount cards. The confusion potential out there is real," said pharmaceutical representative Nick Thompson.

"There's some things we would like to see changed in it, but there's also a lot of good in it, so that is our position at this point," said Mark Johnson with the A.A.R.P.

The full house is expected to take a vote on HB1241 on Wednesday. If this bill becomes law, set-up costs are estimated at 8.3 million dollars.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Live in Montgomery: The Day before the Big Game

    Live in Montgomery: The Day before the Big Game

    Friday, December 15 2017 11:41 PM EST2017-12-16 04:41:07 GMT
    Friday, December 15 2017 11:49 PM EST2017-12-16 04:49:15 GMT
    The A-State football team visited the Rosa Parks Museum this week as part of bowl festivities for the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. (Source: KAIT)The A-State football team visited the Rosa Parks Museum this week as part of bowl festivities for the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. (Source: KAIT)

    It was a busy Friday as the A-State Red Wolves finished the final preparations for Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery. 

    It was a busy Friday as the A-State Red Wolves finished the final preparations for Saturday's game against Middle Tennessee in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery. 

  • Greensborough Village project sees first building construction project

    Greensborough Village project sees first building construction project

    Friday, December 15 2017 11:18 PM EST2017-12-16 04:18:27 GMT
    Friday, December 15 2017 11:38 PM EST2017-12-16 04:38:31 GMT
    A developer said Friday that the Greensborough Village project is moving ahead. (Source: KAIT)A developer said Friday that the Greensborough Village project is moving ahead. (Source: KAIT)

    A 200-acre property project in the Hilltop area of Jonesboro is moving ahead, a developer of the project said Friday. 

    A 200-acre property project in the Hilltop area of Jonesboro is moving ahead, a developer of the project said Friday. 

  • breaking

    One dead, one in custody, investigator says in Lawrence County shooting

    One dead, one in custody, investigator says in Lawrence County shooting

    Friday, December 15 2017 9:17 PM EST2017-12-16 02:17:05 GMT
    Friday, December 15 2017 11:17 PM EST2017-12-16 04:17:18 GMT
    Lawrence County deputies were at the scene of a shooting Friday night on Highway 91. (Source: KAIT)Lawrence County deputies were at the scene of a shooting Friday night on Highway 91. (Source: KAIT)

    According to Sgt. Jamie White of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, authorities there are investigating a shooting in which a woman was killed. 

    According to Sgt. Jamie White of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, authorities there are investigating a shooting in which a woman was killed. 

Powered by Frankly