KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Wyoming Lawmaker Pushes For Reform, Mississippi Governor Bans Certain Over-The-Counter Drugs

Associated Press/CNBC: "A veteran Wyoming state senator for the third time is pushing a bill he says would offer health insurance to people who couldn't afford it on the open market and also serve as an example to the rest of the nation of how to tackle rising health care costs. Sen. Charles Scott, R-Casper, has proposed a pilot program that calls for allowing 500 participants to enroll in Medicaid beginning in July. It would be limited to people whose family income is below 250 percent of the federal poverty level - $55,125 for a family of four. Enrollment could rise to 3,000 participants by 2014. ... It would establish personal health accounts for each participant in which the state would match participant contributions. Participants could use the money in their accounts only to pay for health care and health insurance. They would retain any balance in their accounts when they left the program"  (2/11).

Pharmaceutical Business Review: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour signed a bill that restricts over-the-counter sales of drugs containing pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used by drug abusers to manufacture methamphetamine. Consumers will need a doctor's prescription and identification before purchasing such medicines. "Methamphetamine (meth) has high potential for abuse, activating the physiological reward system by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. The move is intended to reduce drug abuse due to these OTC drugs. The bill received good response in the legislature and was approved within a week. It will be effective from July 1, 2010" (2/12). 

The Jackson Clarion Ledger: "Supporters say the measure, which passed the House and Senate in recent weeks, will deter meth production. ... Mississippi is only the second state in the nation to require a prescription for pseudoephedrine. A similar law in Oregon went into effect about three years ago" (Crisp, 2/11). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.