Laura Colbert credits her two dogs, Mud and Ginger, with helping her maintain her own health and work-life balance in the face of numerous pressing priorities.
Now that Crossover Day (the 30th day of the 40 day Session and the day by which a bill must pass at least one chamber to remain viable for the Session) has passed, the 2012 Legislative Session enters its final stretch. The legislative calendar is now set through Day 37. Here is what health advocates are watching:
- HB 1166 would restore child-only health insurance policies to Georgia’s individual market. Georgians for a Healthy Future, along with a range of child health advocacy groups, is in strong support of this measure to provide this option for families who need coverage for their kids. The bill passed the House last week and passed through the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee this afternoon. It now heads to the Rules Committee.
- HB 879 would allow non-medical staff to be trained to assist students with diabetes in a school setting when a school nurse is not present. The legislation also allows children, who are able, to manage their own diabetes. This legislation passed the Georgia House of Representatives and will be before the Senate Health and Human Services committee tomorrow.
- SB 471 authorizes an alternative approval process for health insurance policies sold in Georgia and could place hard-fought consumer protections at risk. This bill passed the Senate last week and we will monitor it on the House side.
Several bills that consumer health advocates were supporting did not make the Crossover Day cut:
- HB 1159, sponsored by Representative Pruett, would have created a Joint Study Commission on Education for Parents with Newborn Children to determine how best to gather information, raise funds and create a comprehensive informational video. The video would include but not be limited to information on the prevention of childhood obesity; how to prevent SIDS, shaken baby syndrome, and other forms of child abuse; how to prevent death and injury and additional information which would assist parents to raise safe and healthy children. HB 1159 passed through the House Health and Human Services Committee but did not make it out of the Rules Committee.
- SB 484 would help fight childhood obesity by encouraging – but not requiring – schools to open up and share their safe places for kids to play with responsible groups in their communities like churches, scouting troops, YMCAs and others. SB 484 passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee but did not make it out of the Rules Committee.
- HB 801 and SB 418 were introduced by Representative Gardner and Senator Orrock, respectively, as companion bills to establish a health insurance exchange in Georgia. Neither bill received a hearing.