Legislation to Codify Affordable Care Act Sees Action

capitol building

capitol buildingSeveral bills being tracked by the MHA saw action during the week of June 5. In both chambers, bills to enshrine the protections of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) into state law saw initial testimony. In the House, bills to regulate labor service agencies and ban the practice of conversion therapy were taken up for a hearing. On the Senate side, action was taken on previously seen bills to expand opportunities to join the organ donation registry and allow pharmacists to order and administer certain immunizations and diagnostic tests in Michigan.

Both the House and Senate Health Policy Committees began action on a package of bills intended to codify ACA protections into state law. Introduced in both chambers by Republican and Democratic policymakers, the package would ensure that many of the consumer protections found in the ACA remain in Michigan if there were significant federal changes to the law. The package includes Senate Bills (SBs) 356 through 358 and House Bills (HBs) 4619 through 4623. The MHA is supportive of the package, which has been passed in at least 15 other states to date.

The House Labor Committee took testimony on HB 4034, sponsored by Representative Kara Hope (D-Holt), which would seek to regulate Temporary Staffing Agencies. The MHA opposed the legislation in committee given concerns about how it could impact the availability of temporary nurse staffing in Michigan and the detailed provisions around requirements for how the services would be provided. The MHA will work with the bill sponsor on potential changes to ensure it does not limit access to temporary healthcare staffing. No further action is scheduled on the legislation at this time.

In House Health Policy Committee, testimony was also held on Sen. Sylvia Santana’s bill intended to increase access to vaccines and certain laboratory tests. SB 219 would allow pharmacists to order and administer immunizations and certain diagnostic tests for their patients without physician supervision. Under the current language, pharmacists wishing to provide these additional services must also complete some additional continuing medical education courses as part of their licensure process. While no votes were taken at the hearing, the MHA is supportive of SB 219.

In Senate Health Policy Committee, testimony was taken on a package of bills that would allow Michigan citizens to designate themselves as an organ donor on state tax forms. Introduced by Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Twp), HB’s 4362 through 4364 would allow the question to be asked on tax forms starting in the 2023 tax year. The MHA is supportive of the legislation, which is being led by Gift of Life Michigan as a way to reverse the decline in donor registrants. Gift of Life Michigan testified in committee that many states are seeing this as a result of the pandemic and online services leading to fewer trips to the Secretary of State. No votes were taken at this time.

Members with questions about state legislative action can reach out to Adam Carlson at the MHA.

New State Legislative Session Begins

capitol building

capitol buildingThe new session for the 102nd Michigan Legislature kicked off during the week of Jan. 9 with swearing in ceremonies in both the House and Senate. Michigan Democrats in the majority started the session by introducing legislation to repeal right to work, reinstate prevailing wage requirements and several other bills intended to provide tax relief for working families. Committee assignments were also released, giving the MHA and its member hospitals an opportunity to begin conversations with key lawmakers about 2023 legislative priorities.

Much like previous legislative sessions, both the House and Senate will feature standing committees for health policy and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget. However, the House also created a new committee focused on behavioral health to provide a greater focus on the growing issue. Additionally, the MHA will be tracking new standing committees on labor issues created in both the House and Senate.

The Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference convened Jan. 13 to revise revenue projections for the current fiscal year. Comprised of the House Fiscal Agency, the Senate Fiscal Agency and the Department of Treasury, their forecast calls for a year-over-year decrease of 1.1% in revenues from the 2021-22 fiscal year to 2022-23. For 2022-23, the General Fund is projected to decrease by $427.7 million year-over-year, with a forecasted total of $14.8 billion.

Included below is a comprehensive list of committee assignments that are particularly relevant for MHA members. If you have any questions about the new lawmakers in your district, committee assignments or other state legislation, please contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.

Senate Appropriations

  • Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) (Chair).
  • Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo) (Vice Chair).
  • Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo) (Minority Vice Chair).
  • Thomas Albert (R-Lowell).
  • Rosemary Bayer (D-West Bloomfield).
  • Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton).
  • Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Township).
  • John Cherry (D-Flint).
  • John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs).
  • Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores).
  • Mark Huizenga (R-Walker).
  • Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor).
  • Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe).
  • Kristen McDonald-Rivet (D-Bay City).
  • Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak).
  • Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes).
  • Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit).
  • Sue Shink (D-Northfield).
  • Lana Theis (R-Brighton).

*Senate DHHS Appropriations Subcommittee will be chaired by Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit).

Senate Health Policy

  • Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) (Chair).
  • Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) (Vice Chairs).
  • Michael Webber (R-Rochester Hills) (Minority Vice Chair).
  • John Cherry (D-Flint).
  • Erika Geiss (D-Taylor).
  • Roger Hauck (R-Mount Pleasant).
  • Mark Huizenga (R-Walker).
  • Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe).
  • Jim Runestad (R-White Lake).
  • Paul Wojno (D-Warren).

House Appropriations

  • Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) (Chair).
  • Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) (Vice Chair).
  • Sarah Lightner (R-Springport) (Minority Vice Chair).
  • Timothy Beson (R-Kawkawlin).
  • Ann Bollin (R-Brighton).
  • Ken Borton (R-Gaylord).
  • Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield).
  • Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township).
  • Cam Cavitt (R-Cheboygan).
  • Nancy DeBoer (R-Holland).
  • Alabas Farhat (D-Dearborn).
  • Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale).
  • Phil Green (R-Millington).
  • Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids).
  • Thomas Kuhn (R-Troy).
  • Donovan McKinney (D-Detroit).
  • Jasper Martus (D-Flushing).
  • Denise Mentzer (D-Mount Clemens).
  • Jason Morgan (D-Ann Arbor).
  • Christine Morse (D-Texas Twp.).
  • Natalie Price (D-Berkeley).
  • Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton).
  • Bill G. Schuette (R-Midland).
  • Phil Skaggs (D-Grand Rapids).
  • Bradley Slagh (R-Zeeland).
  • Will Snyder (D-Muskegon).
  • Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills).
  • Donni Steele (R-Orion Township).
  • Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park).
  • Jimmie Wilson (D-Ypsilanti).

*House DHHS Subcommittee will be chaired by Rep. Christine Morse (D-Texas Twp.).

House Health Policy

  • Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) (Chair).
  • Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) (Vice Chair).
  • Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) (Minority Vice Chair).
  • Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac).
  • Jennifer Conlin (D-Ann Arbor).
  • Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City).
  • Aalabas Farhat (D-Dearborn).
  • Graham Filler (R-DeWitt).
  • John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming).
  • Carol Glanville (D-Walker).
  • Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek).
  • Reggie Miller (D-Belleville).
  • Mike Mueller (R-Linden).
  • Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint).
  • Carrie Rheingans (D-Ann Arbor).
  • John Roth (R-Traverse City).
  • Kathy Schmaltz (R-Jackson).
  • Jamie Thompson (R-Brownstown).
  • Greg VanWoerkom (R-Norton Shores).

Guardianship, Medical Laboratory Registry Bills Advance

capitol buildingSeveral bills impacting hospitals were acted upon during the week of June 20 while the governor and legislative leadership continued negotiations on the fiscal year 2023 state budget. In the Senate, legislation to create a new registry for certain specialized laboratories was advanced from committee. In the House, the Judiciary Committee reported the package of bills to regulate and license professional guardians to the House floor for further consideration.

The Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee held further testimony on a bill to register certain medical laboratories in Michigan. Senate Bill (SB) 812, introduced by Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), would create a registry for interventional pain management, kidney access, and vascular laboratories. As currently written, SB 812 would not provide any form of oversight or clinical requirements for the registered labs, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services would not have authority to deny or remove registered labs from the list. The MHA has not taken a position on the bill but is closely monitoring the issue.

The House Judiciary Committee held its third and final hearing on the guardianship package, House Bills 4847, 4848, 4849 and 4850. The MHA has not taken an official position on the bills, but provided written testimony to the committee to voice concern on the potential impact to hospitals. The proposed legislation would significantly increase requirements on professional guardians and limit the number of individuals an uncertified guardian could represent. The MHA supports a strong guardianship program in which qualified individuals are available for incapacitated patients in need of a decision-maker, but remains concerned that hospitals will struggle to find guardians for some patients without increased funding. House Judiciary Committee members supported the package, which now moves to the House floor for further consideration. The MHA will continue to discuss potential solutions with the Legislature, including ways to increase opportunities for family members to assume decision-making authority in times of emergency.

Any questions or comments on this legislation may be directed to Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.