'Yes on Issue 2' receives Cleveland endorsements

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Supporters of Issue 2, also called the "Drug Price Relief Act" on the November Ohio ballot, announced some public endorsements for their side of the argument Wednesday.

Issue 2 would make it law that the state of Ohio can't pay any more for prescription drugs than the Department of Veterans Affairs does.

The VA gets at least a 24 percent discount on prescription drugs. The state of Ohio provides drugs for about a third of Ohioans, the majority through the Medicaid program.

According to a press release from the "Yes on Issue 2" campaign, several Cleveland City Council members are endorsing the measure.  The list includes City Council President Kevin Kelley, Ward 1 Councilman Terrell Pruitt, Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack, Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, Ward 6 Councilman Blaine Griffin, Ward 12 Councilman Anthony Brancatelli and Ward 16 Councilman Brian Kazy.

Councilwoman Cleveland showed up at a Yes on Issue 2 press conference and rally Wednesday at the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland's all-in-one HIV/AIDS care & services to address her support of the issue.

Cleveland told Cleveland 19 that it's important to many people she represents.

"It's really important. It really hits home, and individuals, we shouldn't have to get the choice between whether I eat today or get my medicine or cut my pill in half and reduce its effectiveness, so it's just an issue -- a bread and butter issue -- of people I represent," said Cleveland.

She told those gathered that passing Issue 2 isn't just about Ohio, amd that it could have larger ramifications for the country.

"When this issue passes in November it will be a loud and clear message to greedy drug company CEOs that they can no longer take advantage of us," said Cleveland. "Ohio can be the tipping point for this campaign for every other state in the nation."

Opponents of the measure disagree, saying a yes vote will just hurt Ohioans.

"There's a reason why no state in America has passed a law like Issue 2. And if all the experts are right -- and Issue 2 would increase drug costs for two out of every three Ohioans and reduce their access to needed medicines -- then voting 'yes" would be a very expensive and counter-productive message to send. Cutting off your nose to spite your face is never a good idea," said Dale Butland the communications director for Ohioans Against Issue 2.

Those who support voting no on Issue 2 have consistently said they believe that making it law would mean higher prices to the VA, or higher prices to those who get their prescription drugs through a private insurance plan.

Those who support Issue 2 say their opponents use fear tactics to try to get their message across.

Cleveland 19 did speak to an impartial economist who said she thought it would be difficult to predict what effect Issue 2 would have on drug prices for those with private insurance.

A similar ballot measure in California failed to pass in 2016.

Those who support voting No on Issue 2 have dozens of endorsements from groups including Ohio State Medical Association, the Ohio Hospital Association and the VFW of Ohio.

For more information on both sides, refer to: yesonissue2.com and deceptiverxissue.org.


Copyright 2017 WOIO. All rights reserved.