Governor McDonnell’s Proposed Budget Cuts
Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell did some work on his state’s budget recently. In an effort to reduce costs, state employees will no longer have insurance coverage for non-drowsy antihistamines and drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction.
McDonnell’s move duplicates the actions of former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D), and the change to the state’s insurance formulary is alleged to save approximately $7 million in the present budget. Lawmakers, who previously restored the insurance benefit under Kaine, will have an opportunity to review the budget proposal this week.
Typically, changes to an institution’s formulary are made by panels of physicians, pharmacists, and other medical personnel who are closely involved with the practice of medicine. Some level of medical expertise should be required in order to evaluate the impact that denying coverage will impose. I’m not sure the governor’s experience as a medical supply officer during his Army service qualifies him to make medical and financial decisions affecting thousands of people.
At issue are what changes the governor might make next, given his penchant for omitting and ignoring fundamental facts. The arbitrary removal of drugs from insurance company formularies puts many of the medications out of the reach of Virginia’s state workers; what other drugs might be removed at the governor’s discretion?Click here for reuse options!
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