Rally to save our healthcare at RI State House

RI Future - “Both the Senate and House bills are not about improving care and coverage, but about billions in tax cuts for millionaires, insurers and drug companies,” said Karen Malcolm, coordinator of the Protect Our Healthcare Coalitionas she stood in front of the Rhode Island State House, addressing a crowd of nearly 100 people gathered for a “Save Our Healthcare Rally.”

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HHS slates hearings on health insurance commissioner, bills concerning the deaf, chiropractic coverage

STATE HOUSE – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will meet this week on numerous bills concerning assistance for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, chiropractic coverage and the nomination of a new health insurance commissioner.

The committee meets tomorrow, Tuesday, June 20, at the rise of the Senate session (around 4:45 p.m.) in the Senate lounge on the second floor of the State House on numerous matters concerning the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

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Senate passes bill enacting ACA provisions at state level

STATE HOUSE – The Senate today passed legislation aimed at protecting consumers and the Rhode Island health insurance market from changes at the federal level should Congress repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives.

The bill, sponsored by members of the Senate Policy Caucus and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio, is also designed to provide predictability to insurers, stabilizing the Rhode Island insurance market against the undetermined future of the federal law.

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Media Advisory: Hospital Conversion Act, DHS director before committee

STATE HOUSE – Changes to the Hospital Conversion Act and the appointment of a new director of the Department of Human Services are before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this week.

The committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, June 13, at the rise of the Senate session (around 4:45 p.m.) in the Senate Lounge on the second floor of the State House. Among the bills scheduled for a vote is:

2017-S 0937A — Sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket), this bill would streamline the procedure for the approval of mergers of nonprofit hospitals in response to the proposed merger of Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket with Prime Healthcare Foundation.

Among the bills scheduled for a hearing and possible vote is:

2017-H 5821Aaa — This bill sponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) would include electronic cigarettes in the state’s indoor smoking ban.

The committee is also scheduled to meet Thursday, June 15, at the rise of the Senate in the Senate Lounge. Among the items on its calendar are:

Advice and consent on the appointment of Courtney E. Hawkins as director of the Department of Human Services, to replace Melba DePena.

2017-H 5676 — Sponsored by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Cranston, Warwick), the “Rhode Island Terminally Ill Patient’s Right to Try Act of 2017” establishes the conditions for the use of experimental treatments for terminally ill patients. It is scheduled for a hearing and possible vote.

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Whitehouse to brief Senate Democrats on ACA repeal

STATE HOUSE – The Senate Democratic Policy Caucus will host U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Tuesday for a briefing for members on ongoing efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and implications for Rhode Island.

The presentation is scheduled at Tuesday, May 30, at 2 p.m. in the Senate Lounge on the second floor of the State House.

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) and Senate Policy Caucus Chairman Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) are also expected to offer remarks.


For more information, contact:
Greg Pare, Press Secretary for the Senate
State House Room 314
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 276-5558

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Media Advisory: Opioid warning bill up for committee vote

STATE HOUSE – Legislation intended to prompt discussions between doctors and patients about the risks of prescription opioids is scheduled for a vote by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee tomorrow.

The committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, May 23, at the rise of the Senate session (around 4:30 p.m.) in the Senate Lounge on the second floor of the State house. Among the bills scheduled for consideration are:

2017-S 0493 — This bill sponsored by Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) would require health care professionals, upon issuance of initial opioid prescription, to discuss with patients the risks of such drugs, including developing dependence or addiction, potential for overdose or death, and the risks of concurrent use of alcohol or other psychoactive drugs.

2017-S 0146 — Sponsored by HHS Committee Chairman Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), this bill adds two requirements to cost information that hospitals must provide to a prospective patient: that the requested cost estimate of their requested anticipated hospital services must be provided within two business days of the request, and the cost of any facility fee.

2017-S 0490 — This bill sponsored by Sen. Jeanine Calkin (D-Dist.30, Warwick) would require that health insurers cover infertility regardless of marital status and also increases the maximum treatment age from 40 years to 42 years. It also redefines the term “infertility” to mean a woman who is unable to sustain a pregnancy during a period of one year.

2017-S 0578 — This bill sponsored by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham) prohibits health insurers from varying the premium rates charged for a health coverage plan based on the gender.

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Media Advisory: Health care bills to be heard

STATE HOUSE – The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hold hearings on several health care measures this week.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 9, at the rise of the Senate session (around 4:30 p.m.) in the Senate Lounge on the second floor of the State House the committee will hear:

2017-S 0862 — Sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick), this bill would allow for a step therapy exception determination when coverage of a prescription drug for the treatment of a medical condition is restricted for use by an insurer, health plan or utilization review organization.

2017-S 0579 — This bill sponsored by Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) increases the percentage of out-of-state patients that constitutes a Rhode Island health care facility specializing in domestic medical tourism and, in certain cases, authorizes the director and the attorney general to order the facility to stop offering health services.

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