Week sees lawmakers introduce array of health care bills
The noteworthy health care bills that were introduced in the Georgia General Assembly this week include…
– S.B. 92, a bill by Sen. Randy Robertson (R-Cataula) that would prohibit the sale to and by minors of drug products containing dextromethorphan. MAG supports this legislation, which was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
– S.B. 103, a measure by Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta) that would require insurers to treat diagnostic examinations for breast cancer no less favorably than screening examinations for breast cancer with respect to cost-sharing requirements and treatment limitations. MAG is reviewing this legislation, which was referred to the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.
– S.B. 111, a bill by Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) that would create a licensure and regulatory framework for community midwives. MAG opposes this legislation, which was assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee.
– H.B. 304, legislation by Rep. Jodi Lott (R-Evans) that would create a tax credit for medical equipment and supplies manufacturers and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturers. MAG is watching this bill, which is in the House Ways and Means Committee.
– H.B. 307, a bill by Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) that would codify the "Georgia Telehealth Act" to mimic the current public health emergency executive orders. This includes 1) authorizing health care providers to provide telemedicine services from home and 2) authorizing patients to receive telemedicine services from their home, workplace, or school and 3) allowing for audio-only care under certain circumstances and 4) prohibiting any requirements for patients to have an in-person consultation before they receive telemedicine services and 5) prohibiting more stringent utilization review requirements. MAG supports this legislation, which was assigned to the House HHS Committee.
– H.B. 316, a measure by Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) that would increase the pharmacist-to-pharmacy tech ratio from three to four for direct supervision in a pharmacy. MAG is reviewing this legislation, which was referred to the House HHS Committee.
– H.B. 394, a bill by Rep. Stephens that would 1) raise the tax on cigarettes from 37 cents per pack to $1.87 per pack of 20 cigarettes and 2) tax cigars, loose or smokeless tobacco, and alternative nicotine products at a rate of 39 percent of the wholesale cost price (the current rate is 23 percent for cigars and 10 percent for loose or smokeless tobacco – while there is no tax on alternative nicotine products) and 3) raise the tax on consumable vapor products from seven percent to 39 percent of the wholesale cost price. MAG supports this legislation, which was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
– H.B. 321, a bill by Rep. Yasmin Neal (D-Jonesboro) that would require health care insurers to offer group health benefit plans to hospitals to provide health insurance coverage for uninsured hospital patients. MAG is reviewing this legislation, which was assigned to the House Insurance Committee.
– H.B. 369, a measure by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) that would 1) make it unnecessary for job descriptions that are entered into between physicians and physician assistants (PAs) to be submitted to or approved by the Georgia Composite Medical Board and 2) authorize physicians to delegate their authority to prescribe Schedule II controlled substances in emergency situations for up to five days to PAs and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The bill would also require PAs and APRNs to complete one hour of continuing education every two years in the areas of appropriate ordering and use of Schedule II controlled substances. MAG opposes this legislation, which was assigned to the House Regulated Industries Committee.
– H.B. 381, legislation by Rep. Renitta Shannon (R-Decatur) that would require the Department of Community Health to allow mothers who give birth to retain their Medicaid eligibility for one year following the birth of their child. MAG supports this legislation, which was assigned to the House HHS Committee.
– H.B. 395, a measure by Rep. Dave Belton (R-Buckhead) that would allow Georgia to join the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact. MAG is reviewing this legislation, which has been assigned to the House Regulated Industries Committee.
– H.B. 401, a bill by Rep. Ginny Ehrhart (R-Marietta) that would make it a felony for any licensed medical professional to provide a minor with medications that induce transient or permanent infertility, including puberty suppressants, hormone therapy, and performing enumerated surgical procedures on minors (e.g., mastectomy, vasectomy, hysterectomy). Violating this law would result in a prison term of one to 10 years and the revocation of physician/provider’s license. This legislation would not apply to the medical decision of a parent or guardian of a minor who has external biological sex characteristics that are irresolvably ambiguous or who has been diagnosed with a sex development disorder by a physician who has determined through genetic testing that the minor does not have the normal XY sex chromosome structure for a male or XX sex chromosome structure for a female. MAG is opposing this legislation, which is headed to the House HHS Committee.
– H.R. 131, a measure by Rep. Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain) that would create a House Study Committee on Health in Georgia to study various factors contributing to the health of Georgia citizens. MAG is watching this legislation, which was sent to the House HHS Committee.