Democrats and Republicans agree pill law needs tweaking as Democrats use it as a campaign issue

10/25/2012 07:16 AM

As House Democrats target incumbent Republicans who voted against a bill in April aimed at curbing prescription pill abuse, leaders of both parties say legislators will have to reverse “unintended consequences” of the measure when they return to session in January.

The House Democratic Caucus Committee paid for commercials criticizing Republican Rep. Mike Harmon of Boyle County and Rep. David Floyd of Bardstown for not supporting the measure, House Bill 1, which expands the use of the prescription monitoring system, KASPER, and requires pain clinics to be run by physicians.

“Tell this House Republican who opposed House Bill 1, it’s time to stop protecting the pushers,” the ad says. Here’s the full commercial against Floyd:

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo sponsored the bill and has been the driving force behind this ad campaign against the incumbent Republicans.

Pure Politics spoke with Rep. Jeff Hoover, the House Republican leader from Jamestown, about the ad. Hoover was among the Republicans who supported the bill.

And he said while he doesn’t want to see the measure repealed, he said the law’s implementation has been far from perfect. Some Kentuckians are having trouble getting prescriptions for certain drugs renewed because Hoover said some of the regulations have gone too far.

That, he said, vindicates lawmakers like Floyd and Harmon, who raised questions about whether the law would be overly restrictive for law abiding Kentuckians.

Here’s the interview about the pill issue and the landscape of the fall House elections:

Rep. Bob Damron, the Democratic caucus chairman from Nicholasville, acknowledged that the General Assembly will have to return in January and make some changes in light of the regulations.

He said that’s not unusual with any sweeping piece of legislation. But he said that doesn’t blunt the fact that some lawmakers voted against an approach to try to curb one of the biggest problems in Kentucky — prescription pill abuse. Watch the interview:

The House Democratic Caucus


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