This Week in Public Policy: November 11 - 15, 2019

This Week in Public Policy provides a summary of policy and legislation in Ohio and at the federal level that is of interest to people with disabilities.

To subscribe to these weekly updates, send an email to Paul Jarvis at

Click here to read previous week's updates.

In Ohio

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, the House Insurance Committee held ALL Testimony on Senate Bill 9. The bill would require health insurers to provide certain claim information to employers. John McGough, representing the Ohio Association of Health Underwriters testified in support of the Senate-passed version of the bill, saying employers should be able to receive “claimant health condition or diagnosis” information to allow employers to implement “disease management programs.” McGough argued in support of an amendment to the bill that would provide employers with information about their employees’ health conditions to help them understand their premium rates. McGough said, “For example, if there is a high claim with a diagnosis of cancer, resulting in continuing treatments, the insurer will spend more in claims than premiums collected, which will increase the premium rates accordingly for the next renewal period. If the high claim was a pregnancy or one-time surgery, the impact to premium rates will be lower.”

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, the House Health Committee held ALL Testimony on House Bill 188 (Blindness -Adoption and Custody). The bill would prohibit a person’s blindness from being used to deny or limit custody, parenting time, adoption, etc. Three witnesses provided testimony as proponents or interested parties of the bill, including Kara Ayers for the University of Cincinnati UCEDD, Jeremy Morris for the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council, and Mary Wachtel for the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.

In Washington

On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, US Senator Johnny Isakson introduced legislation to ensure that non-emergency medical transportation would continue to be provided under the Medicaid program. The only other sponsor of the bill is Ohio’s own US Senator Sherrod Brown. The bill is S.2846 and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.

NEXT Week in Public Policy: November 18 - 22, 2019

In Ohio

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, the House Health Committee will hold PROPONENT Testimony on House Bill 214 (Prescription Drug Readers). The bill would require pharmacies to provide prescription drug readers for visually impaired patients and requires health insurance plans, including Medicaid, to pay for the readers. The hearing will take place at 11:00 a.m. in Room 116 of the Ohio Statehouse.

In Washington

On Monday, November 18th, 2019, the US Senate has scheduled for consideration HR268, which looks like a bill that will be used to continue the federal budget beyond the Thursday, November 21, 2019 deadline. It is not known how long the Continuing Resolution will extend federal programs for, but it is believed the CR will be for 1 month.

Facts That May Only Interest Me:  Sugar was the first food that was rationed during World War II. Japanese control of the Philippines, a major source of imported sugar, and the loss of cargo vessels to both the war effort and to U-boats, caused the supply of sugar to fall by roughly 1/3. As the war effort continued, households were ultimately limited to 15 pounds of sugar per year, with an additional 15 pounds of canning sugar available. It is estimated that Americans consumed roughly 66 pounds of “added” sugar per year in a 2010 CDC survey.