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Please contact legislators to oppose House Bill 1804 (pharmacy cost escalation)

URGENT ACTION REQUESTED:

The Arkansas House of Representatives House Insurance and Commerce Committee is considering a dangerously intrusive bill (House Bill 1804 – HB1804) that that would severely limit the ability of self-funded health plans, usually offered by the state’s large employers, to make prescription drugs more affordable for their members.

HB1804 places self-insured groups and governmental plans under the provisions of the state PBM (pharmacy benefits manager) Licensure Act, which established a single-rate system of reimbursement for each drug dispensed by every pharmacy in the state, regardless of the quality of services provided.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield believes HB1804 will negatively impact the employers that sponsor self-funded health plans and the hundreds of thousands of hard-working Arkansans who depend on them. We further believe HB1804 will accelerate the escalation of healthcare costs in Arkansas.

Tools including protocols around prescribing and composition of pharmacy networks are used by most self-funded health plans and have been shown to be effective at helping health plans contain pharmaceutical costs.

HB1804 attempts to circumvent these widely accepted and clinically sound cost-containment approaches and injects inappropriate state intervention into private-sector business strategies and free-market dynamics.

We contend that this bill would benefit one segment of the healthcare delivery system – pharmacies (and by extension, profiteering drug companies) – at the expense of hard-working Arkansans. HB1804 would drive up the “out-of-pocket” costs of health plan members and ultimately could make the health plans on which they rely much less affordable.

Additionally, HB1804 seeks to place an added reporting requirement on self-funded health plans that is burdensome and intrusive. Self-funded health plans would be required to share negotiated contract information including rebate and payment details that, until now, have been considered proprietary and confidential.

Requested action: The House Insurance and Commerce Committee is considering HB1804 at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2021.  Please contact the committee members listed below before 2 p.m. on Wednesday and ask them to oppose HB1804 in its current form because of its increased cost on prescription drugs for all self-funded health plans.

Committee members:
Rep. Mark Lowery (Chair)     501-837-5221     markdlowery@mac.com
Rep. John Maddox (Co-Chair)     479-394-6060     john.maddox@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Fred Allen     501-804-7844     fredallen99@comcast.net
Rep. Justin Boyd      479-262-2156     justin.boyd@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Karilyn Brown     501-580-9000     karilyn.brown@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Nicole Clowney     479-445-5337     nicole.clowney@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Brian Evans     501-941-4002     brian.evans@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Deborah Ferguson     870-735-7098     deborah.ferguson@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Kenneth B. Ferguson     870-413-8942     kenneth.ferguson@arkansashouse.org
Rep. David Fielding     870-234-6143     david.fielding@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Vivian Flowers     870-329-8356     vivian.flowers@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Jimmy Gazaway     870-215-1243     jimmy.gazaway@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Robin Lundstrum     479-957-1959     robin.lundstrum@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Reginald Murdock     501-940-5157     rkm_72360@yahoo.com
Rep. Clint Penzo     479-466-6681     clint.penzo@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Aaron Pilkington     479-308-8384     aaron.pilkington@arkansashouse.org
Rep. David Ray     501-916-0286     david.ray@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Jay Richardson     469-853-6963     jay.richardson@arkansashouse.org
Rep. Jim Wooten     501-858-7403     wjewooten@aol.com