By Shawn Pfaff

Governor and State Legislative Dems introduce package to reduce Rx drug costs

Democratic Governor Tony Evers and state legislative Democrats introduced this week a comprehensive package to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

This package is very similar to what the Governor introduced earlier this year as part of his proposed 2021-23 biennial budget, which was removed by the GOP-led Joint Finance Committee and was not included in the final budget that the Governor signed last month.

The “Less For Rx” package introduced this week does the following:

* create a Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board to establish target prices and limits for public-sector entities
* allow drug reimportation by the state
* boost purchasing power by allowing state and local collaboration
* help prescribers figure out-of-pocket costs into medically similar drugs
* create an Office of Prescription Drug Affordability
* cap copays for insulin at $50
* add $4M, 2-yr for free and charitable clinics
* eliminate copays for BadgerCare Rx
* encourage pharmacists to volunteer at no-cost clinics

In reintroducing the package, Governor Evers said, “For far too many Wisconsinites their prescription medications remain out of reach with outrageous, irrational and burdensome out-of-pocket expenses. It’s time for bold solutions and comprehensive reform that increases transparency and accountability, reduces out-of-pocket expenses and tackles this issue head on,” (https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WIGOV/bulletins/2eaff08).

To read more about the Governor’s prescription drug plan, please click on the link below:
https://madison.com/ct/d9bf4165-a1a8-5187-8f49-43e9d99b4ba8.html

Administration takes Steps to Combat Delta Variant

Starting yesterday, all state government executive branch employees will be required to wear face masks in state buildings, regardless of their vaccination status, according to the Department of Administration. The new mask requirement includes areas of the Wisconsin Capitol managed by DOA such as the rotunda, corridors, restrooms, elevators and other common areas.

The agency is also recommending all vaccinated members of the public wear face marks in state buildings, including areas of the Capitol managed by the agency. Those who aren’t vaccinated will continue to be required to wear face masks.

Two months ago, the Evers administration reopened the Capitol to the public seven days a week and declared those vaccinated against COVID-19 would no longer have to wear a mask in the building. For its justification for the new order, DOA used the new guidance that reflects recent changes from federal, state and local health officials due to the Delta variant (www.wispolitics.com).

The seven-day average of confirmed new cases rose to more than 900 as of yesterday, according to the state Department of Health Services. The average had been less than 100 from mid-June through early July.

To further improve the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rate, Governor Evers and the Department of Health Services announced this week that the Wisconsin State Fair will offer free cream puffs to those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The on-site vaccine clinic will run for the duration of the fair, which begins tomorrow and runs through Aug. 15. The clinic will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

To read more about the state’s efforts to combat the surging Delta Variant, please click on the link below:

LFB COMPARATIVE SUMMARIES AVAILABLE

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has released the Comparative Summary Provisions of the 2021-23 biennial budget. These documents are indepth analysis of funding levels for state agencies in the most recently passed budget.

There are three versions available:

Comparative Summary of Provisions – 2021 Act 58 (Full Document)

Comparative Summary of Provisions – 2021 Act 58 (Summary Tables)

Comparative Summary of Provisions – 2021 Act 58 (By Agency)

Committee Hearings Next Week

Tue Aug 10

Assembly – Committee on InsurancePublic Hearing
10:00 AM
328 Northwest Items: AB212; AB259

Wed Aug 11

Assembly – Committee on Government Accountability and OversightPublic Hearing
10:00 AM
417 North (GAR Hall)I tems: AB398; AB414
Assembly – Committee on EducationPublic Hearing
10:00 AM
412 East Items: AB411; AB488
Senate – Committee on EducationPublic Hearing
10:00 AM
412 East Items: SB411; SB463