NEVADA – Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo vetoed two significant bills on Monday, including Assembly Bill 250 (AB250), which aimed to ensure fair prescription drug prices for all Nevadans, regardless of their Medicare status. The veto drew criticism from Democrats, who accused Lombardo of favoring “Big Pharma.”
AB250, sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman Venicia Considine, sought to provide access to federally negotiated prices for ten medications. The list of these medications has not been publicly disclosed yet but is expected to include brand-name drugs without market competition.
In his veto message, Lombardo stated that AB250 inappropriately relied on Medicare’s Maximum Fair Price (MFP), which was established by the federal Inflation Reduction Act. He emphasized that the MFP is designed for Medicare beneficiaries and using it as a benchmark could discourage manufacturers from participating in federal healthcare programs and investing in Nevada’s healthcare market.
Lombardo also expressed concerns about the arbitrary price caps set by AB250 based on federal decisions without input from state stakeholders. He argued that such caps could limit patients’ access to medicines and hinder medical innovation.
The Governor’s decision to veto AB250 was met with criticism from the Nevada State Democratic Party. Spokesperson Mallory Payne accused Lombardo of prioritizing the interests of Big Pharma over lowering healthcare costs for hardworking families.
In addition to AB250, Lombardo also vetoed the “medical-aid-in-dying” bill, Senate Bill 239 (SB239), which would have allowed terminally ill Nevadans to self-administer medication to end their own lives. This veto marked the Governor’s 32nd veto this session, rejecting proposals passed by the Democrat-majority Nevada Legislature.
SB239 received significant attention, with strong support and opposition. A poll conducted by Compassion & Choices indicated that 82% of Nevadans supported medical-aid-in-dying legislation. Despite the high level of public support, Lombardo vetoed the bill, becoming the first governor to do so.
The bill, sponsored by nine Democrats and co-sponsored by ten others, included safeguards to ensure the decision was made independently and legal protections for medical personnel involved in the process.
Votes on SB239 were closely divided, with several approvals passing by a single vote. The legislation specified that the cause of death on the patient’s certificate would be the terminal condition, and it emphasized that insurance companies should not discriminate based on a patient’s interest in choosing medical aid-in-dying.
Credits: 8 News Now
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