This Policy Update is already pretty long…  so I don’t think I’ll list all the bills we’re tracking again here- but here’s a link to last week’s update that has the core bills we’re tracking and our positions on them.

However there are a few new bills that have been proposed since last week’s update- so I’ve included those below:

SB1472  Maternal Health; Postpartum Visits – AzPHA Supports

This is a terrific bill from Senator Carter that would direct AHCCCS to require their contracted health plans to increase post-partum visits by new moms and increases the appropriation that would be required to pay for this important initiative.  There are a ton of important physical and behavioral health reasons to implement this important initiative.

1493 Dispensing Hormonal Contraceptives – AzPHA Supports

This is a bill we support from Sen. Ugenti Rita which would allow a pharmacist to dispense a self-administered hormonal contraceptive to a person 18 or over under a standing order. There are checks and balances in this statute to ensure that best practices are used. This is a net public health benefit as teen births are the number one cause of inter-generational poverty and the bad health outcomes that result.

HB2535 Preventive Dental Care (AHCCCS) –  AzPHA Supports

This bill from Representative Shah would boost the adult oral health coverage for Medicaid members to include two regular cleanings, fluoride 15 treatment, and one set of X-rays annually.  We are in support of this common-sense bill.

SB1397 Health Insurance; Preexisting conditions

This bill provides a partial backstop in case the US Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act. It would prohibit health insurers from offering health insurance plans that exclude people with preexisting conditions from coverage. It’s silent on whether people with preexisting conditions could be charged higher premiums (in other words – yes – they could)

This Week’s Member Action Item:

HB 2608  Overdose; Disease Prevention (syringe services) will be heard in the House Health and Human Services Committee at 9 am on Thursday January 30.  Please sign in to the azleg system and express your support for this important bill.  It will decriminalize syringe services programs in Arizona. 

It’s currently a felony to provide syringes to injection drug users via a syringe access program even though these programs are evidence-based programs that reduce the spread of Hepatitis C, HIV and other blood-borne pathogens and engage injection drug users in treatment.  We have supported bills like this for the last several years, but they have yet to be successful.