Hello from Lansing,
This week has been very busy! I introduced a new bill and testified on three other bills, one of which was voted out of committee that day. All of these bills are extremely important, and I am very happy to see them moving through the legislature.
As always, you can contact my team via email at CarrieRheingans@house.mi.gov or by phone at (517) 373-8835 with any questions, comments or concerns.
Carrie A. Rheingans
House District 47
Making All Copays Count Press Conference
On Tuesday, I was joined by members of the Michigan All Copays Count Coalition to announce the introduction of my House Bill 4719, which would ensure that all payments made by or on behalf of the patient will go toward that patient’s deductible and out-of-pocket costs.
Drug manufacturers and other third parties, such as nonprofit organizations, will often issue copay assistance funds to help patients with their out-of-pocket costs. Unfortunately, a growing number of insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers are utilizing “copay accumulator adjustment programs” that prohibit the value of this copay assistance from applying toward a patient’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.
These health plans do not credit these payments to the patients’ out-of-pocket costs. Coupled with the increase in high-deductible health plans, this means that many patients are being asked to pay several thousands of dollars on the first of the year before they can gain access to their medications.
My bill would protect people from having to pay that value again out of their own pocket, and thus, will help make their necessary medications more affordable and accessible.
This bill has been referred to the House Insurance and Financial Services Committee.
Testimony on the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Act
On Tuesday, I testified before the House Elections Committee with former Vermont state Sen. Chris Pearson on my House Bill 4440. This bill, coupled with my House Bill 4156, would change Michigan election law by casting Michigan’s presidential electors for the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationally.
Both of these bills were voted out of committee on Tuesday.
Prop 2 Legislation Testimony
On Thursday, I testified before the House Elections Committee on my House Bill 4700, which implements some of the important changes regarding mailed ballots necessitated by the passage of Proposal 2 last November.
House Bill 4700 would amend Michigan election law to implement the permanent absent voter list and to make several other changes regarding absentee voting.
- Would allow voters who submit an absentee ballot application before a primary election, including a presidential primary, to either use that application for the primary election or for the primary and all following elections that year. Registered voters would also have the right to receive an absent voter ballot for each election by submitting a single AV ballot application that covers all future elections.
- Would mandate township clerks who receive an application for an absentee ballot to immediately determine if the applicant is registered to vote in that city or township and if the signature on the application sufficiently matches what is on file for that voter. This bill also allows local officials to forward absentee registrations from other localities to the proper clerk in another locality.
- Would ensure that absentee ballots have prepaid postage.
- Outlines the process for “curing” registration signature difficulties.
This legislation was introduced because the people of Michigan made their voices clear last November — they want their right to vote protected and expanded. This legislation plays an important part in implementing the will of the voters.
Sexual Assault Package Testimony in the Senate
On Thursday, I testified on my House Bill 4125 in the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee. This bill would prohibit school districts from expelling or suspending a student for more than 10 school days for reporting a sexual assault.
This bill passed the House of Representatives on May 24 on a 97-10 vote. We expect this bill, as well as the rest of the bills in this package, to be passed by the Senate Health Policy Committee soon.
Next Constituent Contact Meeting
My next constituent happy hour will take place on Friday, June 23 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales + Kitchen (located at 2319 Bishop Circle E., Dexter, MI 48130).
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