FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Some Kentucky lawmakers want the state to take over Medicaid's pharmacy benefits because they say the current system harms independent pharmacies in rural areas.
But state officials say it would cost an extra $161 million for them to take over the program, of which about $36 million would come from state tax dollars.
Kentucky outsources the administration of its Medicaid program to private companies. The companies that handle pharmacy benefits are called pharmacy benefit managers.
Those managers receive $1.68 billion of taxpayer money each year to fill approximately 25 million prescriptions. Republican state Sen. Max Wise says he knows about $1 billion of the money is sent to pharmacies, but he says the managers won't say how they spend the remaining $600 million.
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