IowaBio Bill Tracker - February 15, 2019
Bills are starting to trickle out of committees as subcommittee work continues, and I have updated the bill numbers on the tracker as legislation is renumbered. First funnel is a few weeks away, but lobbyists and legislators are already thinking of how to make sure legislation they care about moves through a committee in at least one chamber by Friday, March 8.
Several anti-immunization bills IowaBio opposes have been filed (two in the Senate, one in the House) this session and back-to-back subcommittees are scheduled for the two Senate bills, SF238 and SF239 at noon and 12:30 next Tuesday. SF238 would offer protections to certain healthcare workers from employers should they choose not to be vaccinated or choose not to administer vaccines and would prevent insurance companies from using vaccination status to make changes to or deny coverage or change premiums. SF239 vastly expands the existing religious exemption from vaccination creating a new exemption for “conscientiously held beliefs” as a basis to avoid vaccinations. Many other groups, including the Iowa Medical Society and Wellmark, are registered in opposition.
A House companion bill to the newborn screening panel expansion bill, HF375, was introduced by Rep. Best.
We expect a bill to be filed on PBM rebates in the next two weeks, which would increase transparency and push rebates to the consumer level. Meanwhile, a federal rule proposed by the Department of Health and Human Service published February 6th in the Federal Register, to replace the existing safe harbor rule for rebates is open for comment through April 8th. The new safe harbor rule would allow for discounts that must be applied to help consumers with out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions. The Proposed Rule can be found here and the HHS Factsheet is available here.