Schwarzenegger Says Special Election Will Not Be Canceled; Columnist, Broadcast Coverage Address Rx Drug Measures
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Monday said he would not cancel the Nov. 8 special election after a Superior Court judge removed the voting redistricting proposition from the ballot, the Los Angeles Times reports (Vogel/Nicholas, Los Angeles Times, 7/26). The ballot includes three health care measures:
- Proposition 73, which would amend the state constitution to require health care providers to notify a parent or guardian 48 hours before performing abortions on an unmarried minor;
- Proposition 78 -- sponsored by the prescription drug industry -- which would provide voluntary discounts on prescription drugs to state residents whose annual incomes do not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level; and
- Proposition 79 -- sponsored by Health Access California, a health care advocacy group, and a coalition of labor groups -- which would exclude drug companies from the Medi-Cal formulary if they do not offer discounts on drugs to state residents whose incomes do not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level (California Healthline, 7/7).
The "real goal" of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America "isn't so much to enact Proposition 78 as to kill Proposition 79" -- especially a provision that would allow consumers to sue drug companies for "profiteering," Times columnist Michael Hiltzik writes in his "Golden State" column.
Although "the industry's contention is that its 'voluntary' programs are superior to the mandated version" and some voluntary programs in other states have been "fairly effective," the profiteering provision "might explain by itself why the drug makers appear prepared to make the dueling prescription initiatives the focus of the most obscenely costly electoral campaign in state history," Hiltzik writes (Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 7/25).
KPCC's "AirTalk" on Thursday included a discussion of Propositions 78 and 79. Guests on the program included Jan Faiks, assistant general counsel for PhRMA; Theodore Marmor, professor of public management and political science at Yale University; and Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access (Mantle, "AirTalk," KPCC, 7/21). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.