Ballot language for prescription drug issue approved

The Ohio Ballot Board approved language Thursday afternoon for how a prescription drug proposal will be presented on the Nov. 7 ballot, with no conflict between the sides lined up for and against Issue 2.

Issue 2, if passed, would require Ohio to obtain the same discounts on prescription drugs as the prices obtained by the U.S. Veterans Administration – affecting an estimated 4 million Ohioans who get drugs in a range of state programs, such as Medicaid and state employee and retiree health care. Opponents say the proposition could raise prescription drug costs on others.

The sides for and against Issue 2 have battled vociferously on the airwaves but agreed on how the proposal would be worded before Thursday’s meeting, thanks to the help of a mediator.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, chairman of the 5-person panel that ultimately decides how proposals appear on the ballot, said he knew the issue was contentious and had asked each side if they were open to mediation. They met and hammered out the details last week.

Don McTigue, an attorney for the backers of Issue 2, said the parties met for about five hours and negotiated the ballot language.

In its entirety, the proposed law is three pages. The agreed-upon summary for the ballot is less than a page, explaining the state cannot pay more for drugs as the V.A.

Click here to view the ballot language.

To read more of this story, click here.

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