Supporters for Issue 2 ask what's next

Issue 2 would have required the State of Ohio to buy prescription drugs at the same price as the VA. (WSYX/WTTE)

The Yes on Issue 2 campaign lost in a landslide on Election Day but its supporters said Wednesday they plan to keep fighting. The prescription drug plan could resurface in another state soon.

Ohio voters rejected the plan by nearly a four to one margin.

"We knew this was a David versus Goliath battle," said Dennis Willard with the Yes on Issue 2 campaign. "Sometimes David wins and sometimes David doesn't."

Willard said his campaign was outspent three to one. The Yes campaign said it spent nearly $20 million while the No campaign said it spent nearly $60 million. Issue 2 was by far the most expensive race in Ohio in 2017.

"Money doesn't buy elections," said Curt Steiner with the No on Issue 2 campaign. "People are paying attention. They pay attention to this issue because it's a personal issue and as a result, after taking a close look at it, seeing all the facts, they made the decision to vote no."

Issue 2 would have required the State of Ohio to buy prescription drugs at the same price as the VA. Veterans get a Congressional-mandated discount for drugs.

Willard said the Yes campaign will regroup after the loss and move forward. He said high drug prices are still a problem.

"We're going to continue the fight," he said. "We know that the way to reform drug pricing and help patients is on the streets with real people through the ballot box and that's what we plan to do."

The Yes campaign has already submitted signatures to put its plan on the ballot in South Dakota. It's collecting signatures to do the same thing in Washington DC as well. Supporters said they just need to get their foot in the door somewhere.

"We're going to find a place to win and when we win people are going to look at that and say, 'we want that too'," he said. "It'll start really a domino effect."

The prescription drug plan is dead in Ohio for now. The Yes campaign said it took the plan to state lawmakers but couldn't convince them to give it a hearing. That's why it was on the ballot for a statewide vote in the first place.

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