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Senate Bill 1300 — Emergencies, health care services

Senate Bill 1300 — Emergencies, health care services

by
Parrish Miller
February 13, 2022
Parrish Miller
February 13, 2022

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1300 would make it illegal to offer or sell "temporary health care services" during declared emergencies at prices arbitrarily determined by government to be "exorbitant or excessive." 

Rating: -1

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

Senate Bill 1300 amends Section 48-603, Idaho Code, to define and make it illegal to offer or sell "temporary health care services" during declared emergencies at prices arbitrarily determined by government to be "exorbitant or excessive." 

It defines "temporary health care services" as "services provided by a person engaged for hire in the business of providing or procuring temporary employment in a health care facility, as that term is defined in section 48-303(5), Idaho Code, for health care personnel."

It clarifies that "temporary health care services" do not include "services provided by an individual who engages only on the individual's own to provide services on a temporary basis to a health care facility."

In other words, this provision is targeted at businesses such as staffing agencies that make it easier for employers to fill open positions with temporary health care providers.

This bill adds to existing law, which effectively bans sellers from promptly responding to natural market factors, such as supply and demand, during declared emergencies. While this statute currently deals with sellers of fuel, food, and pharmaceuticals, Senate Bill 1300 would expand the law's scope to include companies that help fulfill the need for temporary health care providers.

Hospitals and other health care facilities seeking temporary employees already have the right to seek them out on an individual level, to negotiate pricing, and to refuse to do business with staffing agencies they believe are overcharging. This bill is intended to give the hospitals additional leverage to strong-arm staffing agencies by threatening them with government enforcement if they charge the going market rates for temporary health care providers.

(-1)

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