SACRAMENTO – Controversial activist Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), is the author of November’s Prop 61 which AHF is also bankrolling. Weinstein and AHF have been accused of overcharging governments for prescription drugs, bullying local governments and other nonprofits, and engaging in political activities unrelated to the organization’s mission.
This is the first installment of periodic press releases to highlight some significant questions and issues regarding Weinstein and AHF.
Issue #1: Why did Weinstein exempt his organization from Prop 61?
AHF is a wealthy Los Angeles-based organization which operates pharmacies and HMOs in California and around the world. In 2015 AHF generated more than $1 billion in total revenues. AHF brought in more than $800 million last year from prescription drug sales alone.
AHF also operates a Medi-Cal managed care plan in California, PHC or Positive Healthcare California. Yet Weinstein specifically exempted Medi-Cal managed care plans from the provisions of his California initiative.
Source: Section 14105.32 (b) of Prop 61 reads: “The requirements of this Section shall not be applicable to…any Medi-Cal managed care program.”
Weinstein and AHF did not exempt managed care from a similar initiative in Ohio.
AHF does NOT operate a managed care plan in Ohio. Accordingly, managed care was not exempted in the Ohio version of the ballot measure that Weinstein and AHF are promoting there
Source: Ohio Secretary of State, link to drug contracting measure sponsored by AHF.
“As everyone who has been around HIV/AIDS advocacy knows, Weinstein has a history of promoting his own agenda to the detriment of others. This initiative appears to fit that pattern,” said Eric Paul Leue, HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ activist and member of the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV.
BACKGROUND ON PROP 61
Prop 61 is a deceptive, deeply-flawed proposition that would be bad for patients, harmful for veterans and expensive for taxpayers. It will increase prescription drug costs, jeopardize patient access to medicines and result in more bureaucracy, red tape and lawsuits. Prop 61 also would take away a special prescription drug benefit promised to our veterans. More than 100 organizations oppose Prop 61.
For more information on Prop 61, go to www.noprop61.com