Wolf hunts, terminal patients and Medicaid.
The Senate held one session this week with several votes on substantive measures. The House remains out until Aug. 27.
Initiated Legislation 2, Preempt referendum banning wolf hunt: Passed 23 to 10 in the Senate
To preempt the effect of a referendum placed on the November ballot by interests opposed to wolf hunting. Specifically, this measure would make “referendum-proof” a 2013 law giving the legislature and Natural Resources Commission exclusive authority to decide which species may be hunted in Michigan. It would do so by making a small change to that law and adding a modest appropriation, which under a 2001 Supreme Court ruling makes the law not subject to referendum. This measure (Initiated Legislation 2) was sponsored by groups in favor of a wolf hunt. If the House also passes it, the initiative banning wolf hunts that has already been approved for the November 2014 ballot will not go into effect, even if a majority of voters approve it.
Senate Bill 991, Let terminal patients try non-FDA approved treatments: Passed 31 to 2 in the Senate
To establish that a person diagnosed with a terminal illness has a “right to try” experimental drugs or therapies not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, subject to various conditions specified in the bill. The bill would prohibit state officials from interfering, and ban licensing boards from sanctioning health care providers who participate, subject to specified conditions. Drug makers who comply with the specified conditions would be immune from liability if the patient is harmed. The bill responds to criticism that FDA “safe and effective” standards are not appropriate in these cases.
Senate Bill 616, Revise Medicaid funding sources: Passed 26 to 7 in the Senate
To shift Medicaid fund sources to reflect the transition from a 1 percent "health insurance claims tax" to the imposition of the 6 percent "use tax" on Medicaid managed care health care providers (hospitals). These levies are designed to “game” the federal Medicaid program in ways that result in higher federal payments to Michigan’s medical welfare establishment (including those same hospitals).
SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit http://www.MichiganVotes.org.