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States Progress on Contract Pharmacy Protection Legislation

Despite 340B Opponents’ Unprecedented Tactics, Many States Progress on Contract Pharmacy Protection Legislation

By Ted Slafsky

After over 30 years of working in Washington, D.C., I have become accustomed to the expression “politics ain’t beanbag.” The phrase, as the Christian Science Monitor explains, means “life is rough; get over it” to someone who receives bruising treatment from opponents, critics or the media. A beanbag doesn’t hurt when you get hit by one.

During my days as a 340B advocate, I experienced my share of difficult battles fighting in the trenches to protect the 340B program. However, the latest efforts to undermine the program have hit a new low.  Earlier this year, a dark money group that most recently orchestrated a pro-tobacco campaign effort released an advertising and media outreach campaign attempting to tie the 340B program to the nation’s immigration challenges.  

Orchestrated Campaign

As we first reported in 340B Report, a 501(c)(4) non-profit calling itself Building America’s Future (BAF) released an ad in February titled “Healthcare for Illegal Immigrants.”

In an ominous tone, with video images of activity allegedly being conducted by immigrants lacking permanent legal status, the announcer says: “The border is broken. Millions illegally pouring into our country. But it’s not just the border: Your tax dollars are at work for illegal immigrants. The more we look, the more we find…And free healthcare? They’re using a program currently under investigation called 340B to launder your money and provide free healthcare for illegal immigrants. The more we look, the more we find. We need Republicans to stand up for us.” 

The ad appeared on various social media sites and reportedly aired in West Virginia as the state legislature and governor worked on a bill to restore access to 340B discounts in the contract pharmacy setting.

At the same time, conservative news outlets published articles and posted comments on social media raising similar concerns about the 340B program. They reported on a poll that supposedly found Republican voters opposed any improvements to the 340B program. Read more >

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