The Edmond Sun

Letters to the Editor

February 14, 2014

UCO students opposing HB 2100

EDMOND — Feb. 11, 2014

To The Editor:

We, the undersigned, are students or former students at the University of Central Oklahoma. We are writing to express our displeasure and opposition to a bill that may soon be debated in the senate: HB 2100.

Pharmacists are aggressively lobbying behind closed doors for 2100’s passage. If they succeed, they will expand their profits as their friendly pharmacy board bureaucrats will have significant leverage over pharmacy benefit managers. If the bill passes, the bureaucrats will possess the power to increase fees and leverage their power into increased profit margins for pharmacies. Why else would pharmacist legislators be authoring the bills?

We are not naïve: this is about power and money and empty pieties about safety and the public good cannot obscure the very real and obvious reasons for the bill.  What we are even more concerned with is collateral damage the bill will inflict.

Most of us have jobs with small businesses and most of us are struggling with the cost of health care. ALL of us are struggling with ever increasing costs of higher education at universities.

We are aware that the overregulation of pharmacy benefit managers will increase the cost of doing business in Oklahoma and that includes higher education. Only the most unaware and gullible could believe that a bureaucratic body given the power to regulate and raise fees on their competition will not exploit that opportunity.

Word of mouth is spreading much faster than media coverage and we believe that this disturbing legislation will wilt under the light of public scrutiny. Nonetheless, the rich and powerful pharmacy interests are steaming ahead in their obscene profit quest and we hope this communication from those of us who don’t have paid advocates will be weighed as this bill inevitably comes before the senate.

Respectfully,

Taylor Sharp, Megan Buttenhoff, Ivy Whitten, Liberty Mitchell, Tony Rivera, Anthony Nathan, Heather Powers, of Edmond

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