Ohio governor says he needs leverage over drug makers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk) says he needs more leverage over pharmaceutical companies to help drive down the cost of health care.

Kasich said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday that drug expenses are the biggest driver of costs in Ohio’s Medicaid program, which serves poor children and families.

The Republican Kasich said there’s not enough conversation about how to lower the cost of medicine. He says governors should have more ability to exclude high-cost drugs from Medicaid coverage.

Kasich has bucked his own party in pushing for expansion of Medicaid as a way to provide more people with health insurance.

The governor said he’s concerned about Congress’ proposed $880 billion cut to Medicaid and its effect on people with mental illness, opiate addiction or chronic diseases.