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Health Insurance Reform Bills Vetoed in MS, Prescription Drug Reform Bill Line-Item Vetoed in WY & More

March 24, 2023 (2 min read)

MS Gov Nixes Health Insurance Reform Bills

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) vetoed two health insurance reform measures that were passed by the Legislature with bipartisan support.

One of the bills (SB 2622) would have accelerated the prior authorization process, which health insurers use to let providers know whether an insured’s policy covers a particular drug or procedure. Reeves cited errors in the wording of the bill and the likelihood that it would increase Medicaid costs as the reasons for his veto.

The other bill (SB 2224) would have allowed the state’s insurance commissioner to address inequalities in insurance reimbursement rates. Reeves said it was a “bad idea” to let the commissioner fine insurance companies as much as $10,000 per violation for not being able to justify different reimbursement rates for the same procedure at different hospitals. (MISSISSIPPI TODAY, STATE NET)

WY Gov Guts Prescription Drug Reform Bill

After two years of work the Wyoming Legislature passed a bill this month (SB 151) to reform the state’s prescription drug system. But before signing the measure Gov. Mark Gordon (R) used his line-item veto power to strip out much of the measure’s substance, including provisions allowing state residents to choose their pharmacy providers and requiring pharmacy benefit managers to pay independent pharmacies the same amount as pharmacy benefit manager-owned or affiliated pharmacies. (CASPER STAR-TRIBUNE, STATE NET)

TN House Passes Abortion Ban Change

The Tennessee House passed legislation (HB 883/SB 745) removing the “affirmative defense” clause from the state’s total abortion ban and replacing it with specific exceptions for ectopic or molar pregnancies and abortions to save a mother’s life or “prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of” one of her major bodily functions. The law’s current affirmative defense clause is the only protection for medical professionals who perform an abortion to save the life of a mother, and they’ve contended for months that the risk that option poses is jeopardizing ethical medical care. (TENNESSEAN [NASHVILLE], STATE NET)

IA House Approves Midwife Licensing

Iowa’s House passed a bill (HB 265) that would establish a regulatory board to certify properly trained midwives for professional practice. Currently 15 states lack such a licensing process. (IOWA CAPITAL DISPATCH, STATE NET)

MA Pharmacies Receive Guidance from State Officials to Stock Abortion Pills

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a statement last week informing pharmacies that “clarifying guidance” from the state Board of Registration in Pharmacy required them to stock all reproductive health medications including the abortion pill mifepristone.

“Our regulations require pharmacies to stock and/or procure all prescriptions necessary to meet the needs of the community, and we interpret that to include all reproductive health medications, including Mifepristone,” said Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “This is consistent with our standards as they relate to other basic though controversial medications, including naloxone.” (BOSTON GLOBE)

—Compiled by KOREY CLARK


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