Alabama Medicaid officials opposed language benefitting speaker’s client

Alabama Medicaid officials testified today that they strongly opposed language added to the state budget in 2013 that would have uniquely benefited a company that was paying House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s Auburn Network under a consulting contract.

Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar, Clinical Services Director Kelli Littlejohn Newman and former state Health Officer Don Williamson took the stand as witnesses called by the prosecution in Hubbard’s ethics trial.

Hubbard is charged with voting for legislation with a conflict of interest because of the Medicaid language, one of 23 felony ethics counts issued by a special grand jury in 2014.

The speaker has pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing.

Today was the third day of testimony in his trial.

American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc., (APCI) which represents independent pharmacies, was paying Hubbard’s company $5,000 a month in 2013 at a time when the Legislature was considering the state budget.

State House lobbyists and then-state Rep. Greg Wren were pushing a plan to add language to the Medicaid section of the budget that would have made APCI the only company eligible to be a pharmacy benefit manager for Medicaid if the agency chose to use a PBM.

Earlier testimony in the case indicated that Hubbard took part in meetings about the

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