BILL REGULATING HEALTH EXCHANGE NAVIGATORS SUBJECT OF HEARING

BILL REGULATING HEALTH EXCHANGE NAVIGATORS SUBJECT OF HEARING

A bill regulating health care navigators and certified application counselors under the federal Affordable Care Act was vetted during a Wednesday hearing in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.

Senate Bill 1268, introduced by Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair), would require navigators and certified application counselors to undergo certification by the Insurance Department and submit to criminal background checks and fingerprinting.

“Federal law does not require navigators or certified application counselors to obtain a certified criminal background check even though they have access to enrollees pertinent personal information,” explained committee Chairman Don White (R-Indiana).

“This bill is drafted as a consumer protection measure,” explained Sen. Eichelberger. “When people are working to provide insurance coverage for the citizens of Pennsylvania, I believe the Pennsylvania Insurance Department should have some role in tracking them and having some oversight.”

Not everyone is so convinced such a sweeping measure is needed, however, including the Insurance Department.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views

PHARMACISTS RALLY AT CAPITOL

The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association held a rally in the Main Capitol Rotunda today to highlight a number of issues they support and on which they would like to see further legislative action.

The association noted support for a prescription drug monitoring program, related good Samaritan laws, and the current drug take-back program. They also called for more regulation of pharmacy benefit managers, for fair pharmacy audit procedures, and expanded immunization opportunities.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: Event Central
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INTIMIDATION TACTICS BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE, HEADS TO FULL SENATE

A loophole in the Pennsylvania Criminal Code allowing for violent intimidation tactics during collective bargaining negotiations is one step closer to being closed.

House Bill 1154, introduced by Rep. Ron Miller (R-York), passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today by unanimous vote. One amendment was adopted to the bill.

The bill as amended would close the loophole that allows certain harassment, stalking, and other intimidation tactics when they take place in conjunction with collective bargaining agreement negotiations. The amendment ensured that speech protected by the state and federal constitutions would remain protected under the crimes code; however, it also ensured that uses of weapons of mass destruction in such negotiations are completely illegal.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views

RALLY CALLS FOR BETTER HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS

Human trafficking is the second largest criminal operation in the world. Pennsylvania is one of only two states lacking a sex trafficking statute.

A group of Senators and advocates met in the Capitol Tuesday morning to show their support for a bill attempting to change both of those facts.

Senate Bill 75, introduced by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), aims to provide a definition of human trafficking and prohibit it in Pennsylvania while also giving power to prosecute the perpetrator of human trafficking. The bill also provides training to respond to human and sex trafficking, details a coordinated response plan, and provides for victim services and protection.

“We have to stop treating victims as criminals,” said Sen. Greenleaf. “That’s what’s happening right now.”

Showing bipartisan support for the bill, Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) agreed with Sen. Greenleaf.

“This is nothing short of human slavery,” opined Sen. Leach. He said Senate Bill 75 would make Pennsylvania one of the most progressive states in the country when it comes to human trafficking enforcement.

Sen. Dinniman stated the impetus to move the bill should come from Pennsylvania’s Quaker founding, a group that he said was vehemently anti-slavery. “We and you are part of a tradition in this Commonwealth, that every man and woman is of value,” Sen. Dinniman said.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views

HIGHER EDUCATION NEWS CONFERENCES HELD

A pair of news conferences tied to higher education funding were held at the Capitol Tuesday.

First, Pennsylvania's Community Colleges rallied for more funding. It was noted at the news conference that currently proposed funding levels for the coming fiscal year will only bring Pennsylvania's community colleges to 2001 funding levels. Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks), Chairman of the House Education Committee, spoke favorably about legislation bringing a community college to northwestern Pennsylvania, an area that currently lacks a community college.

Second, Penn State University Alumni rallied at the Capitol to call for increased funding for Penn State.

Kay Salvino, President of the Penn State Alumni Foundation, discussed state funding support for Penn State Unviersity. “When I went to Penn State, state support was high and tuition was low,” she stated. “Nowadays the situation is reserved. The state contributes only about 14 percent of the general funds budget while tuition accounts for 78 percent. Because of the relatively high proportion of state support when I was a student, I was able to graduate with no debt. How many students can say that today?”

 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: Event Central
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