PO Box 1658
Boone, NC 28607
April 15, 2019
The House leadership were busy working on their budget ahead of a planned Spring break. They were also busy introducing their answer to providing healthcare to NC working families with the introduction of H655: Healthcare for Working Families. The House schedule for next week will be a hectic first two days followed by a break starting on Wednesday, April 17. The House will return on Wednesday, April 24 and may bring with them the budget. Senate will be taking a Spring break starting on April 22 and will return on April 26.
This year the House begins the budget process and they are on track to release their budget this month. Budget writers are continuing to work on a schedule that would put the budget release around April 25 with a full vote by the House by the end of the first week of May. The Health and Human Services Appropriation chairs also released their budget targets for the biennial budget.
Bills that Moved: Week of April 8-12:
H471: Reduce Administrative Duplication MH/DD/SAS
Requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a workgroup to examine current administrative requirements for mental health, intellectual/developmental disability, and substance use disorder providers and how best to integrate these requirements with similar administrative requirements for physical health providers in order to avoid duplication and enhance efficiency. UPDATE: This legislation was discussed in House Health on Tuesday, April 9th. The bill received a favorable report and was referred to House Rules. We do expect to see this legislation move over the next week.
SB 361: Health Care Expansion Act of 2019: This legislation Senator Joyce Krawiec and Senator Dan Bishop filed S361 as an alternative to Medicaid expansion. During their press conference the Senators stated that their first priority was to address the waitlist for Innovations waiver before considering any type of Medicaid Expansion. SB361 is an omnibus healthcare bill that includes the following sections:
$41-million for the IDD population, adding approximately 2,000 more people over a two-year period to the 12,000 already receiving services under Medicaid's Innovations Waiver
Repeal the state's Certificate of Need statute
Make North Carolina part of the Psychology Interjurisdictional Licensure Compact to allow psychologists to practice across state lines either by telemedicine or face to face.
Add licensed marriage and family therapists to the list of professionals allowed to carry out the first evaluation in cases in which involuntary commitment is under consideration. UPDATE: This bill was in the Senate Health Committee on April 10. The bills was on the calendar for discussion only. The bill received positive support for addressing the need for more Innovation waivers and to expand options for telemedicine under PSYPACT. The remainder of the bill met with much discussion. One issue that was raised concerns was the repeal of Certificate of Need. This legislation was not voted on and remains in the Senate Health.
New Bills That Were Filed This Week:
H655: Healthcare for Working Families
This legislation would expand healthcare coverage to people in North Carolina who currently do not qualify for Medicaid and also do not have access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act. This expanded healthcare option is aimed at able bodied working adults without dependents between the ages of 19 through 64. The legislation requires that the healthcare benefit package be similar to coverage provided in the essential health benefit plans available through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC. There are both co-payments and work requirements in this legislation. UNC School of Government provides the following information on this bill
NC Health News: “Lawmakers look for ways to cover more low-income uninsured”
A group of Republicans in the state House of Representatives takes a gambit to get about a half million people access to care.
Bills We Are Watching:
H656: Medicaid Changes for Transformation
This legislation modifies existing statutes to reflect the changes from a Medicaid fee for services system to a Medicaid managed care system. Please see more information provided by the UNC School of Government.
H671: Behavior Analyst Licensure
This legislation defines behavioral analysis and establishes the NC Behavior Analysis Board and licensure program. More details available here.
H684: Creating Relationships for Youth/w IDD Funds
This legislation appropriation $100,000 for 2019-2020 and $100,000 for 2020-2021 in nonrecurring funds to Best Buddies International, North Carolina Chapter (BBNC) to support volunteer training, staff supervision and program expansion.
S611: CTP Programs/Scholarship Eligibility
This legislation addresses the need to open more pathways for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to access post-secondary educational opportunities. This bill will expand eligibility for the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship and the UNC Need-Based Grant Scholarship programs to students enrolled in a comprehensive transition program. This link provides more information as presented by UNC School of Government.
NC General Assembly; Who Represents Me?
LEGISLATIVE UPDATES FROM JULIA ADAMS-SCHEURICH
Check out Conference Information HERE