Oregon GOP’s 8-Day Boycott Threatens Bipartisan Bills

On Wednesday(10 May 2023), the eighth day of the Republican-led Oregon Senate protest, supporters of other proposals with bipartisan support pleaded with senators to return to work, According to information provided by kptv.com.

The Oregon State Pharmacy Association has warned that medicine pricing and pharmacy access will be affected if House Bills 3013 and 2725 are not enacted this year. The state legislature has not moved on despite a phone call between party leaders on Wednesday morning.

You can also check out FOX 12 Oregon’s tweet by clicking here:

According to OSPA executive director Brian Mayo, pharmacy benefit managers would be the target of HB 3013 and 2725. These are a go-between for patients and insurance companies when purchasing medication.

PBMs have been blamed for driving up the cost of healthcare for everyone by under-reimbursing pharmacies for prescription expenses and overcharging governmental healthcare programs.

β€œWe have significant concerns they may not be heard on the senate side once the walkout ends,” Mayo says. β€œBack in 2008, there were about 290 independent pharmacies open in Oregon. Now we’re down to, at the end of 2022, 90. We’ve had ten close this year, including two just last week in Albany.”

Oregon GOP's 8-Day Boycott Threatens Bipartisan Bills

These proposed laws would place PBM regulation under the purview of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. According to Mayo, dr*g prices will remain low, and pharmacies can stay in business. However, he emphasizes that this is only possible if the state legislature resumes its duties immediately.

β€œWe know we can help out patients across Oregon and if we can get these bills passed, which has bipartisan support,” Mayo says. β€œIf they don’t get heard, we will see pharmacies close, and patients suffer.”

Recent events in Oregon and the most up-to-date details are summarized below.

Many senators are on the verge of reaching the 10-absence mark. Voters passed Measure 113 last November to prevent legislature members with ten or more “unexcused” absences from running for re-election in the following two years. Even though voters supported this initiative, Republicans vowed to oppose it in court.

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Louis Ebert

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