It all started with a battle over information: In one corner was the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. In the other were Texas lawmakers.
The commission holds the details of the state’s Medicaid contracts with large pharmaceutical companies, which show how much the state is spending on medicine. The commission assured lawmakers the state is getting a good deal, but the legislators wanted to see for themselves. In particular, they wanted to know the amount the state was getting back in rebates for name-brand medicine.
Leading the charge was state Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown). He’s the chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and he says that information is vital for legislative analysis.