The state Legislature took initial action on several bills that the MHA is watching during the week of May 23. In the House, testimony was taken on bills to make changes to lead testing requirements for children and a bill that would create a new state-based exchange for healthcare insurance. In the Senate, a bill to license naturopathic practitioners as physicians had an initial hearing.
The House Health Policy Committee heard testimony on the bills to make changes to lead testing requirements for children. House Bills (HBs) 4678 and 4679 were introduced by Reps. John Cherry (D-Flint) and Helena Scott (D-Detroit) and would require minors to be screened for lead poisoning at four different intervals before the age of 4 and would include this information as part of the child’s immunization record. Providers would also be expected to identify high risk factors such as the age of the child’s residence, but it is unclear how penalties would be assessed for the new requirements. The MHA has not yet taken a position on the bills.
The House Health Policy Committee also took testimony on HB 6112, which would create a new state-based exchange for healthcare insurance. HB 6112 was introduced by Rep. Mark Tisdel (R-Rochester Hills) and would create a new marketplace for Michigan consumers to buy healthcare insurance, opting the state out of the federal marketplace currently used. The new marketplace would be operated by a nonprofit whose board is initially selected by the governor, Senate majority leader and speaker of the House. The nonprofit would be responsible for establishing bylaws for future replacements. The MHA has not yet taken a position on the bill.
In the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee, initial testimony was taken on a bill to license naturopathic practitioners as physicians. Senate Bill (SB) 990, introduced by Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake), would create a major discrepancy in education requirements when compared to allopathic and osteopathic physicians, requiring no residency training and 11,000 fewer clinical hours for naturopathic practitioners to be considered a physician. The MHA submitted a joint opposition memo with eight other organizations asking legislators to vote no on SB 990 to protect patient safety.
The House Workforce, Trades, and Talent Committee reported to the House floor a bill to establish an alternate licensure process for paramedics in Michigan. House Bill (HB) 6086, introduced by Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond), would require the state to develop a new, Michigan-specific, certification course, separate from the currently required course from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. The MHA is opposed to HB 6086, which could have implications for a paramedic’s ability to work in multiple states. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certification is currently used in 48 states and is required for all newly licensed paramedics in Michigan.
Questions on these issues or other state legislation related to healthcare can be directed to Adam Carlson at the MHA.