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05/29/2024 08:48 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=40559
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: April 21, 2023 03:03 PM
From: Representative Arvind Venkat
To: All House members
Subject: Required Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council Review for New Legislative Health Insurance Mandates
 
As a physician, I am very sympathetic to the challenges that face our constituents and health professionals in ensuring insurance coverage for necessary diagnostics and treatment. But I also believe that there is validity to the arguments we hear from stakeholders, particularly health insurers, that legislative mandates for coverage have the potential to add costs to all subscribers, sometimes with little evidence-basis. In my short time in the legislature, I have seen many pieces of legislation that certainly have highly sympathetic approaches and associated constituencies to this issue, but may not allow us as legislators to understand the full clinical and cost-benefit evidence on new proposed health insurance mandates prior to our voting them into law or not.
 
Current Pennsylvania law allows certain committee chairs and department secretaries to request the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) to review proposed mandated health benefits and health insurance coverage. This function is important for allowing thorough expert input on legislative mandates for the state’s insurance marketplace.
 
In the near future, I will submit legislation that will update PHC4’s mandate to require that any new proposed legislated health benefit or health insurance mandate first be reviewed by PHC4 through its current process prior to legislative consideration. This will simply set in statute a requirement that the General Assembly always conduct due diligence before legislating new health insurance mandates. Nothing in the legislation would stop the General Assembly from subsequently passing or not passing new mandates once in receipt of the PHC4’s analysis. But it would ensure that we have a more complete understanding of our taking or not taking legislative action.
 
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to protect the health and financial well-being of all Pennsylvanians.
 



Introduced as HB1116