Greg Ensell, Vice President of Government Relations
Today marks the 18th day of legislative session and the Capitol is awash with activity as the state faces a hard deadline of to pass critical water legislation. The legislature has until 11:59 pm Thursday, January 31st to vote to join the three-state Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) or face prospective relatively larger cuts to the state’s share of Colorado River water if the current drought continues.
While many have been hard at work on the DCP, the legislature is proceeding with normal business. To date, more than 900 bills have been introduced – approximately 100 of those are health related. The Senate and House health committees have heard bills ranging from requiring AHCCCS to cover chiropractic care for its members to clarifying technical provisions of last year's opioid legislation. One issue of note is maternal mortality.
The US has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country. The number of deaths in Arizona jumped from around 10 in 2015 to about 30 in 2016. The last year for which AZDHS has posted data. SB 1040 sponsored by Senator Brophy McGee would require AZDHS to create a 15-member advisory committee on maternal fatalities and maternal morbidity. The committee will then submit recommendations concerning the improvement of information collection concerning the incidence and causes of maternal fatalities and severe maternal morbidity by the end of 2019. SB 1040 will also require that a review and report of data through 2019 is completed by the end of 2020. Earlier this week, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously passed SB1040.
This Friday AzHHA will be holding its bi-weekly legislative update calls to available AzHHA members. If you would like to participate in the weekly legislative update calls, please contact Greg Ensell.