At Trial For Ala. House Speaker, Medicaid Officials Say They Opposed Bill Aiding His Client
The officials said they were never consulted about the measure, which would have set criteria for a pharmacy benefit manager for the Medicaid program.
Hubbard Case: Alabama Medicaid Officials Opposed Language Benefitting Speaker's Client
Alabama Medicaid officials testified today that they strongly opposed language added to the state budget in 2013 that would have uniquely benefited a company that was paying House Speaker Mike Hubbard's Auburn Network under a consulting contract. Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar, Clinical Services Director Kelli Littlejohn Newman and former state Health Officer Don Williamson took the stand as witnesses called by the prosecution in Hubbard's ethics trial. ... The speaker has pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing. (Cason, 5/26)
The Associated Press:
Consultant: No Direct Order To Use Party Chairman's Firm
Other testimony on Thursday focused on language in a 2013 budget bill that could have benefited one of Hubbard's consulting clients. The Alabama Medicaid Agency in 2013 was studying the possibility of one day hiring a pharmacy benefit manager to provide prescription drugs for Medicaid patients. Medicaid officials testified Thursday that they were caught off guard when the House added a budget amendment setting requirements for any manager that might be hired. The group that qualified under the amendment, the Alabama-based American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc., had a $5,000-per month consulting contract with Hubbard. (Chandler, 5/26)