The chairwoman of the House Health and Welfare Committee, Rep. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, has made it her mission in this legislative session to monitor every piece of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that must be implemented by the state.
With that in mind, McGeachin proposed legislation Friday that would create a 10-member oversight panel to monitor state implementation of the federal health care law. The committee, which would operate only between legislative sessions, would feature six Republican lawmakers and four Democrats.
The speaker of the House and the Senate pro tem would each designate three Republicans and two Democrats to serve from their respective chambers.
The panel would work with state agencies, specifically the health and welfare and insurance departments, to examine how the PPACA would alter state practices or policies. McGeachin told her committee the new oversight board would bring some legislative certainty to the federal law’s implementation.
“We are kind of heading into uncharted waters,” she said. “This is a sincere attempt to move forward down the road.”
It is unclear what authority would be given to the oversight panel, but it’s likely to be not much, if approved. Interim committees, like Gov. Butch Otter’s health care task force, have the ability to make recommendations to the full Legislature and examine policy, but little else.
The panel, if approved, would work with the governor’s office to establish state health policy objectives.
McGeachin says she crafted the idea from boards already established in Utah, Colorado and New Hampshire.
The bill will receive a full hearing in the next week or two.
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