Ohio Issue 2 Is A Bad Deal for Taxpayers

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Posted by Margaret Mire on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017, 9:37 AM PERMALINK

As November 7th – Election Day – gets closer, more and more “Yes on Issue 2” mailers and commercials are circulating Ohio.

Of the many false claims Issue 2 supporters continue to make, one of the most egregious is that Issue 2 – which would tie the rate the state and state agencies pay for prescription medications to the rate paid by the Veterans Administration – would save Ohio taxpayers $400 million a year.

While forcefully lowering the price the state can pay for prescription medication may sound like it would save tax dollars, Ohioans should note that such claims ignore key facts, and that Issue 2 is more likely to have the opposite effect.

Indeed, those who claim Issue 2 would save the state money ridiculously assume Ohio does not currently receive any considerable prescription drug discounts when, in fact, it does. Competition in the industry incentivizes biopharmaceutical manufacturers to voluntarily offer the state lower prices for medication. However, should Issue 2 be implemented, experts predict that many of the low-rate agreements Ohio has in place would be destroyed, potentially running up Ohio’s prescription costs by tens of millions each year.

In addition, Ohio taxpayers should keep in mind that the administrative costs of Issue 2 are also likely to be much, much higher than Issue 2 proponents are anticipating. At this time, there are no plans as to how Issue 2 would be put in place, meaning the taxpayers of Ohio will have to foot the bill for consultants, lawyers, and rulemakers that will be hired for a very long time to help navigate the implementation process (on top of basic overhead costs).

Adding to this tax dollar snowball is Issue’s 2 Section G. Section G guarantees the hardworking taxpayers of Ohio will cover any and all costs to defend Issue 2, should (when) it face legal challenges and applies whether or not Issue 2 stands up in court. This dangerous clause, which sets a precedent for taxpayer funded trial lawyers, should be terrifying to all Ohioans, including those who misguidedly favor the rest of this destructive measure.

All facts considered, rather than saving money, Issue 2 is more likely to result in lawmakers taking funding from other programs in the state budget and possibly asking taxpayers to fork over even more of their paychecks. Issue 2 is a terrible deal for taxpayers and Ohioans would benefit greatly from rejecting it.  

Photo Credit: Graem Dawes

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