The first deadline week of the legislative session has passed, and the number of active bills has decreased from 4,840 to just more than 1,400.
This is a good day of session because of the elimination of so many bills which helps us concentrate more on the remaining bills that we support of oppose. This week was heavy with committee hearings because of the missed days last week due to the weather cancellations.
Here’s an update of the action:
- Anti-vaccine measures – After starting with about 90 vaccination-related bills, we are now down to 10 measures. Some are related to preventing an employer from mandating vaccinations as a condition of employment while others have to do with school attendance. Some are Covid-specific while others are not. The vaccine coalition has continued to meet and work to block the measures and other organizations like the State Chamber have come out against measures telling businesses what to do. HB3159would repeal the section of law that prohibits children with contagious diseases from attending school and HB3145 takes that section of law and moves it into the public health sections. The coalition is against changing those statutes and will be watching both bills closely.
- Medical power of attorney – The two measures, SB1596 and HB3815, survived committee and will move to the floor. A third measure that was not worked on by health care providers popped up as well, HB3343.\
- Newborn screenings – Two measures regarding newborn screenings passed committee. HB3224 requires that newborn screening evaluations be done within 48 hours of being collected. SB1464 requires that to the extent practicable, the list of newborn screenings be identical to the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Measures of note that await a floor hearing:
- HB3319 would permit boards of nursing, osteopathic examiners and medical licensure and supervision to grant a health care provider a temporary license when an emergency has been declared.
- HB3504 would require health plans to cover the cost of diagnostic mammograms.
- SB1153 would require a two-year delay of any measure deemed to be an insurance mandate while an actuarial process is done. This is problematic because it would delay things such as reforms to preauthorization processes or mandates for coverage of life-saving screenings. In addition, an actuarial process would not show cost savings of patients receiving care and medicines they need in a timely manner.
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