Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz blamed Republican “gatekeepers” for the Legislature’s failure to act on a bipartisan proposal the Oshkosh Dem said would lower prescription drug prices.

Hintz highlighted AB 114, a measure cosponsored by 77 members of the Assembly that would regulate pharmacy benefit managers and add price transparency requirements. He said pharmacy benefit managers “sometimes have incentives that’s not in the patient’s best interest” and drive up costs of prescription drugs.

“You’ve got a third party that is kind of taking advantage of a system that’s unregulated to increase profits,” Hintz said in an interview on Sunday’s “Upfront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

But despite widespread support among lawmakers, the bill has yet to receive a public hearing in either chamber.

“It’s getting blocked by the gatekeepers, you know, legislative leadership,” he said.

Hintz also blamed GOP leadership for Gov. Tony Evers’ approval rating tumbling in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.

The latest poll, released Nov. 20, found 47 percent approved of the job Evers is doing, while 42 percent disapproved. That was down from October, when Evers’ numbers were plus 18, and August, when they were a net positive 20.

Hintz acknowledged “perhaps there was a honeymoon” period for Evers but said “a lot of it has to do with the Legislature, whose approval also went down.”

“I think the public wants action on a lot of issues and even though the governor has been pushing for it, there’s frustration that we’re not getting the things done,” he said.

That criticism extended to the way Republicans handled the special session Evers called on two bills aimed at curbing gun violence. The GOP-controlled Senate and Assembly last month gaveled in and out of special session in less than 30 seconds, a move Hintz said was indicative of “a suffocation of any action by a do-nothing Legislature.”

“They can say it’s politics, but I think it has more to do with thwarting Gov. Evers’ success,” he said.

Purnima Nath, a candidate running for Milwaukee county executive, also appeared on the show to speak about her bid for office.

See more from the show:
https://www.wisn.com/upfront

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