If you’ve been keeping an eye on our 2023 Policy Map, you’ve noticed that each state is getting darker and darker as the weeks go by. That is because more priority legislation has been introduced and we’re adding dozens of bills to our watch list. While that means we’re busier than ever, it also means that legislators around the country are stepping up to protect patients.
The issues with the most traction lately seem to be reformist legislation – such as pharmacy benefit management (PBM), Medigap expansion, and removing step therapy and prior authorization requirements. These issues present an opportunity for meaningful solutions that will improve health outcomes for Americans in many states.
PBMs have long been an unknown factor in drug price setting, and now, we have an opportunity shine a brighter light on these practices. Washington, Virginia, Oregon, and Maryland (probably many more) are considering legislation that would ensure PBMs pass their rebate savings directly onto patients, and require more transparency with state insurance departments. The CDC testified in person in Olympia on SB 5445, virtually in Richmond for HB 1782 (thanks to ambassador CJ Walker for submitting testimony on this too!), and sent support letters to lawmakers in Salem and Annapolis.
On the Medigap front, CDC Ambassadors Curtis Warfield and Jim Myers testified in Indianapolis for SB 312, which would make this lifesaving coverage affordable for all Indianans regardless of their age. In Nebraska, a hearing in Lincoln went well for LB 32 and we’re eagerly anticipating a vote. And great news out of Richmond: the Medigap bill passed both chambers and is on its way to Gov. Youngkin for signature.
The CDC has always been a strong advocate for step therapy and prior authorization reform, and we’re fortunately finding many opportunities to advocate on this issue in 2023. One of the newer issues that the CDC advocates on is access to mental health treatment, and in at least three states this year – Florida, Colorado, and soon, Texas – we have engaged on bills to remove these harmful requirements for patients experiencing serious mental illness.
This is by no means a complete list of the bills and issues we are engaged on, and we’re seeing strong momentum on many of these concepts. State legislative sessions are just getting started, and several will last for many more months.
If you’re interested in advocating alongside the CDC, or if you have a bill you want us to help you with, reach out to us at email@example.com. We are here to support you and your advocacy goals.