Honigman Capitol Report
Election Reform Package Introduced in Michigan Senate
On March 24, Senate Republicans introduced a package of 39 bills (SBs 273-311) proposing various election and voting-related reforms. Among other changes, the bills propose to:
Regulate Absent Voter Ballot Drop Boxes
Make Significant Changes Related to Election Inspectors, Election Challengers, and Poll Watchers
Change the Way Citizen Initiatives are Certified and Presented to Voters
Make Changes to the Voting Rolls
House Passes Sweeping Health Reform Changes
Speaker Jason Wentworth’s health reform package, 15 bills in all, moved through the House Wednesday. Sponsors of the legislation say it’s intended to be a leap forward toward the goal of making health care and prescription drugs more affordable. The bills are HBs 4345-4359.
"This had much more member input than typical in the process. That's what I appreciate about this package. This came from our constituents. Directly came from people that are working in that process from manufacturer to patient, and then obviously the patients and constituents themselves," Mr. Wentworth told reporters. "Stakeholders engaged. I think we reviewed somewhere around 170 amendments and changes…This package leads the country in this type of reform. And I think that's going to be shown over the next several weeks as this package gets reviewed by national groups and think tanks across the country that have been working with other states to work towards this."
"The average premium for Michigan residents is around $400 per month. The average maximum out of pocket costs for a family is around $8,000 per year. That means you have to foot $12,800 before the insurance company begins to spend $1 on you," he said. "When residents postpone or defer treatment of care, it leads to the worsening of their chronic diseases, it leads to the rationing of their insulin, and it leads to putting residents in a position where they have to choose between dinner on the table or pursuing much needed health care treatment…”
Following is an overview of the legislation and proposed policy changes:
HB 4345 Prescription Drugs (Beeler)
HB 4346 Insulin Price Cap (Cambensy)
HB 4347 Prescription Drugs (Witwer)
HB 4348 Pharmacy Benefit Managers (Calley)
HB 4349 Hospital Charges (Berman)
HB 4350 Prescription Drugs (Young)
HB 4351 Pharmacy Benefit Managers (Whitsett)
HB 4352 Prescription Drug Prices (Allor)
HB 4353 Prescription Drugs (Kahle)
HB 4354 Oral Chemotherapy (Rendon)
HB 4355 Telehealth (Brann)
HB 4356 Contact Lenses (Meerman)
HB 4357 Drug Manufacturers (Roth)
HB 4358 Health Insurance Changes (Hammoud)
HB 4359 Nurse Anesthetists (Whiteford)
Blue Cross Blue Shield supports some of the proposed changes while The Michigan League for Public Policy supports the insulin copay cap, the hospital charge description, drug rebates bill and the non-medical switching bill, which the group said would help lower health care costs for residents.
Limit on Public Health Orders Vetoed by Whitmer
SB 1 was vetoed by Governor Whitmer last week. The bill would have limited orders issued by the Department of Health and Human Services to manage a pandemic to 28 days unless extended by the Legislature.
Unclear is the fate of $350 million Republicans have attempted to link in spending on federal epidemiology and laboratory capacity grant funding through HB 4047. The funding bill specifies the money cannot be disbursed unless SB 1 becomes law.
"This bill would create a 28-day limit on epidemic orders," Ms. Whitmer wrote in her veto message. "Unfortunately, epidemics are not limited to 28 days. We should not so limit our ability to respond to them."
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