Keeping Current @ The Capitol: Week of February 11


2019 Maternal & Infant Health Policy Breakfast
Last Thursday, HMHB and March of Dimes co-hosted the 2019 Maternal & Infant Health Policy Breakfast. Over 150 attendees, including policymakers, advocates and community members joined us for the event.

Congratulations again to our 2018 Charlotte Wilen Advocates of the Year:
-Representative Pat Gardner
-Representative Carolyn Hugley
-Representative Deborah Silcox
-Senator Renee Unterman

We were also privileged to hear from policymakers regarding Medicaid, maternal and infant health appropriations, and other women’s health priorities being considered this session. 

Thank you again to our Legislative Panelists:
-Chairman Dean Burke
-Chairwoman Sharon Cooper
-Representative Park Cannon
-Senator Sally Harrell
-Representative Deborah Silcox

See quotes from the event by visiting our Twitter Account.

Special thank you to Vice Chairman Mark Newton (R-Augusta) and Representative Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs) for providing our attendees with an inside look at meeting with legislators and how to effectively advocate at the Capitol.

Chairman Dean Burke and Chairwoman Sharon Cooper discuss priorities during the Maternal Infant Health Policy Breakfast Panel

Legislative Updates (New Additions)

HB 12 – Quality Basic Education Act 

(Rick Williams, R-Milledgeville) Would require every public school to post a sign containing the toll-free telephone number operated by the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services to receive reports of child abuse or neglect.

HB 12 – Margie’s Law

(Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta) Would require that if a patient’s mammogram demonstrates dense breast tissue, the health care facility that conducted the mammogram shall provide notification to the patient.

HB 63 – Step Therapy Protocols

(Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta) Would require health benefit plans to establish step therapy protocols.

HB 80 – Child Support Cooperation Act of 2019 

(Bill Werkheiser, R-Glennville) Would require individuals to cooperate with the child support enforcement program as a condition of eligibility for food stamps.

HB 84 – Consumer Protections – Health Insurance

(Richard Smith, R-Columbus) Includes several provisions related to proactively informing consumers about out-of-network costs related to healthcare services. 

HB 158 – HIV/AIDS Program Access for Medicaid Recipients(Debora Silcox, R-Sandy Springs) Would ensure that Medicaid recipients have the same access to antiretroviral regimens used to treat HIV and AIDS as to those included in the formulary established for the Georgia AIDS Drugs Assistance Programs.

HB 178 – Establish Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program(Don Hogan, R-St. Simon’s Island) Would create a unit within the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to support the coordination of procedures for an assisted outpatient treatment program (court-mandated).

HB 187 – Obesity Management Pilot Program(Katie Dempsey, R-Rome) provide for a pilot program at the Department of Community Health to provide coverage for the treatment and management of obesity and related conditions.

HB 188 – Rescind ‘Positive Alternatives’ Grant Program(Renitta Shannon, D-Decatur) would repeal the Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program.

SB 4 – Establish Private Lactation Room at the State Capitol

(Jen Jordan, D-North Atlanta) would establish a private lactation room open to the public in either the Capitol Building or the Paul D. Coverdell Legislative Office Building.

SB 16 – Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Act(Kay Kirkpatrick, R-East Cobb) would authorize the Georgia Composite Medical Board to administer the compact in this state.

SB 18 – Direct Primary Care Act

(Kay Kirkpatrick, R-East Cobb) would ensure that providers who are giving care to patients for an agreed upon fee, and does not bill a third-party for services rendered, must inform the patient that the agreement is not the same as insurance. It also exempts primary care agreements from the same regulation as health insurance.

SB 28 – Establish Restrictions on Co-Payments and Co-Insurance

(Lester Jackson, D-Savannah) would prohibit certain insurers from imposing a copayment, coinsurance, or office visit charge in an amount greater than such charges imposed for physician or osteopath services to an insured for services rendered by a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or chiropractor.

SB 36 – Authorizes Funds for Medicaid Expansion

(Steve Henson, D-Stone Mountain) would authorize the appropriations for the purposes of obtaining federal financial participation for medical assistance payments to providers of Medicaid expansion under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.

SB 56 – Consumer Coverage & Protection for Out-of Network Medical Care Act

(Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome) Would establish standards for carriers and health care providers with regard to payment under a managed care plan in the provision of emergency medical care and increase transparency for consumers in said plans.

Legislative Updates (Previously Reported)

HB 8 – Tax Exemption for Menstrual Products

(Debbie Buckner, D-Junction City) Would exempt sales tax for the sale or use of products with the primary purpose of absorbing or capturing menstrual flow, including but not limited to tampons, menstrual pads and sanitary napkins, panty liners, menstrual sponges, and menstrual cups. Update: Assigned to Ways & Means Committee.

HB 10 – Education on Risks Associated with Tampon Use 

(Debra Bazemore, D-Riverdale) Would require sex education and AIDS education instruction to include information on the risks associated with tampon use. Would also encourage physicians and nurses providing a tampon for use by any female patient under his or her care to recite and provide certain written information to such female patient regarding the best practices for and risks associated with the use of tampons.

HB 17 – Criminal Penalty for Smoking in Vehicle with Child Under 13

(Sandra Scott, D-Rex) Would make it a criminal offense to smoke inside a vehicle with any child under the age of 13. Update: Assigned to Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

HB 26 –  Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact

(Dave Belton, R-Buckhead) Would allow psychologists licensed in participating states to facilitate telehealth and temporary in-person, face-to-face practice of psychology across jurisdictional boundaries. 

Governor Includes $1 million for Medicaid Flexibility

“I have included $1 million in the Department of Community Health’s budget to craft state flexibility options for Georgia’s Medicaid program,” Kemp said at his first State of the State address as Governor.  There is general consensus that the Governor is alluding to a potential Medicaid waiver program that would expand healthcare coverage to thousands of additional Georgians who are now in the coverage gap.

HB37 – Expand Medicaid Now Act

(Bob Trammell, D-Luthersville) Minority Leader, Representative Bob Trammell, introduced this legislation which would authorize appropriations to draw down federal dollars for Medicaid expansion in Georgia as defined under the Affordable Care Act. It would allow coverage for Georgians up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. Update: Assigned to Appropriations

Upcoming Events at the Capitol

Join RestoreHER for a discussion about the proposed Dignity for Incarcerated Women legislation. The event is at the Coverdell Legislation Building (across from Capitol) this Tuesday, February 12, 2019 from 8AM to 12PM in room 406. Hear from other advocates working to ensure that incarcerated women have access to proper healthcare, including prenatal and postpartum care, while in any penal institution in the State of Georgia. No registration needed to join the event.

Georgia Women’s Day at the Capitol

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute and YWCA of Greater Atlanta have organized the Georgia Women’s Lobby Day on February 21, 2019.

From the organizers:

We invite you to join women from across Georgia to come together for Georgia Women’s Lobby Day on Feb. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Old City Council Chambers in Atlanta City Hall, one block away from the state Capitol. The event will be a woman-centered gathering to showcase, celebrate and inspire Georgia women to flex their civic engagement muscle while the state legislature debates spending and policy priorities.The event is free, features breakfast and includes a fantastic lineup of speakers. In addition, attendees will:

  • Hear the latest high-level data on the status of women in Georgia related to critical metrics including wealth and wages, health, education, entrepreneurship and more
  • Learn about legislation moving in the state legislature
  • Send a strong message to legislators that women are paying attention and are engaged in the public policy debate
  • Get a taste of how the state legislature works
  • Get briefed on positive, proactive solutions to increase the economic prosperity, safety and well-being of all Georgia women.

Read Our Legislative & Policy Agenda

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