House Health Policy Finishes Work in Final Meetings of 2017-2018 Legislative Session

The House Health Policy Committee convened on December 4 and 5 for what were likely the last committee meetings of the 2017-2018 legislative session, according to Chairman Hank Vaupel. On the agenda were several bills of interest to Family Physicians.

Senate Bill 1198, which would ban prescribing a medical abortion through telemedicine, was reported out of committee on December 4. MAFP remains opposed to this bill as it restricts access to care.

Senate Bill 683 and House Bill 5776 would license acupuncturists and counselors, respectively. Both bills are now before the full House but have not received a vote for final passage.

Senate Bill 541, introduced by Senator Mike Shirkey, calls for the creation of a “dental therapist" as mid-level provider between a dentist and dental hygienist. This bill also passed out of committee and is awaiting action by the full House.

House Bills 6020 and 6021 would reduce the penalties for HIV-positive individuals who engage in sexual intercourse without prior disclosure. Those who are not intending to and do not transmit HIV to their partner would face a misdemeanor, while individuals who intend to transmit HIV or do so without intent could be charged with a felony. The committee passed these two bills, which were part of a larger package at the request of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, sending them to the full House for consideration. The other six bills in the package passed the House Health Policy Committee in September while details of HB 6020 and 6021 were finalized. Those six bills are awaiting action in the Senate Health Policy Committee.

Testimony was heard on Senate Bill 492, which would set equal pricing for oral and intravenous chemotherapy medication, but the committee did not take a vote.

Two bills that would place reporting requirements on prescription drug pricing and pharmacy benefits managers, House Bill 5223 and House Bill 6435, respectively, were not reported out of committee in the anticipated final meeting of the term.