Medicaid losing 272 pharmacies; millions at stake for schools; the fate of the Affordable Care Act

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    Catching Our Eye:

    Pharm out, man. The Columbus Dispatch’s Marty Schladen is reporting, “‘Business negotiations’ result in Ohio’s Medicaid network losing 272 pharmacies.”

    “Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran says she was told that both CVS and Walgreens demanded last year that the other be excluded from the network of the state’s largest managed-care provider — a statement both deny.

    “Despite months of questions about the matter, it was the first time the state’s Medicaid chief acknowledged that she had been told that both pharmacy giants had demanded cuts to the provider network as the price of doing business with the federal-state health-care program. She also said it was hearsay…

    “But Corcoran expresses disinterest in negotiations that have slashed 272 pharmacies from a network that serves almost 3 million poor Ohioans.”

    Turn on, tune in, drop out. Cleveland.com’s Patrick O’Donnell is reporting, “Millions of tax dollars at stake in debate over dropout schools.

    “How the state should regulate schools that serve some of its neediest students, those who have dropped out of school or are in danger of leaving, has flared yet again into political jockeying with millions of tax dollars at stake.

    “A new proposal to ease rules for so-called Dropout Prevention and Recovery Schools, in the name of giving them leeway to work with troubled students, drew strong opposition last week from the Ohio Department of Education and state school board…

    “State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria blasted the proposal in a memo to the board, worrying it would open the door for abuses that have plagued the schools in the past. ‘The recommendations would roll back a number of important policy and regulatory features that reflect meaningful and reasonable mechanisms to promote quality and accountability,’ DeMaria wrote.”

    The fate of Affordable Care Act won’t be known until after 2020 election. Axios’ Sam Baker is reporting that the U.S. “Supreme Court won’t fast-track Affordable Care Act case.”

    “The Supreme Court said Monday that it won’t speed up a lawsuit that aims to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act. The law’s defenders had asked the high court to step in earlier than usual, but the justices opted to let the normal appeals process run its course instead.

    “Why it matters: This unsurprising move all but ensures that the court won’t decide the ACA’s fate until after the 2020 presidential election. If the justices ultimately do strike down all or part of the health care law, President Tump won’t have to answer for the ensuing disruption during a campaign — and it could end up being his successor’s mess to clean up.”

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.