The House Finance committee has approved a measure that would extend affordable insurance to high-risk people who may not otherwise be able to afford coverage, (House Bill 265) which I co-sponsored with Rep. Insko. Anyone who has been refused for coverage for coverage for health reasons by an insurer or who has been offered limited or exceedingly expensive insurance for the person's high-risk medical condition would be eligible for the plan. Premiums for the insurance would be capped at 175 percent of the standard policy cost through a private provider. Establishing the pool is a priority for House Democrats, who say they want to improve access to health care and lower costs.
A vote on a bill, House Bill 259, to ban smoking in public places and businesses has been delayed until next week. House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman has indicated that many House members remain undecided on whether to back the bill. A judiciary committee last week agreed to the measure, which would ban smoking in most restaurants, bars, offices, and factories. Holliman says many lawmakers are weighing health interests versus the rights of businesses to decide what people can do on their premises.
I have filed House Bill 1179, which would allow