Legislators propose almost 45-million dollars worth of “cost-saving” measures for the state’s Medicaid program which provides health care to poor and disabled Iowans. Pharmacists will be paid less to fill prescriptions and Medicaid recipients will have a “co-pay” of up to one-dollar for every prescription filled. Representative Danny Carroll, a republican from Grinnell, says no one will be kicked off Medicaid. And no health care service currently provided will be denied either. Carroll says the state will also develop a list of “preferred drugs” for treatment of common maladies, and doctors will be encouraged to stick to that list when prescribing meds. He says the recipient will share in the cost with a higher co-pay, the pharmacist will share with a lower fill fee, the drug companies will share because they’ll be required to prove their drugs are effective clinically and price wise. Senator Maggie Tinsman, a republican from Bettendorf, says the changes are short-term ways to deal with increasing costs.Tinsman says the “cost-cutting” measures won’t completely deal with the 10 percent increase in Medicaid spending, but it’ll be a good start so the state isn’t taking money from other priorities like education and the environment to cover the rising health care costs. The House will debate the proposal this afternoon.
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