The House passed a bill making “technical corrections” to the health reform statute late Thursday. The bill number is H. 5240. The Senate may take the bill up tonight, the last day of formal sessions, or it may consider the bill during the informal sessions that will continue through the rest of the year.
The bill is a must-pass, because some of the federal funding associated with health reform depends on some wording changes required in the federal waiver approval.
The House-passed bill is a major improvement over the administration’s informal submission. It does not include the proposal to allow changes to free care pool regulations that would have blocked access to coverage for low-income people not enrolled in C-CHIP plans. We had argued that the repealing the legislature’s moratorium on pool changes was unfair during the transition to a new, complex health system. The House bill also rejects the administration’s proposal to add the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Connector Board, and does not include some provisions harmful to immigrant access.
The House bill does include some good provisions to clarify and strengthen chapter 58, including
clarifying the payment from firms that provide health coverage if a low income worker seeks CCHIP coverage and fixing a number of inconsistent effective dates.