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Green light for the states?

MBJ Editorial

In a 6-3 ruling last week, the United States Supreme Court gave a green light to states wishing to curb the costs of prescription drugs, an issue which has pitted state agencies and legislatures against pharmaceutical manufacturers.

In this specific case, justices accepted the State of Maine’s argument that its Maine Rx program was an acceptable and constitutional attempt to address the health care costs of its residents, principally those receiving Medicaid benefits.

While this decision is only one more step in a long process, it does invite other states to pursue aggressive action against drug providers.

That soaring drug costs are a significant component in the health care funding crisis many state governments are now confronting is undeniable. However, it does not change the fact that someone, somewhere will still have to pay for the drugs, the procedures, the tests and the check-ups that seemingly every American feels entitled, whether on Medicaid, Medicare or covered by a private insurance plan.

There are no easy solutions to the myriad of health care concerns before us, as individual consumers and as a nation. But it appears increasingly likely that good or bad we can expect increased government intervention in the situation.

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