[Second Reprint]

SENATE, No. 2239

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 13, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Rice

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes NJ Health Care Reform Implementation Council.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended by the Senate on November 22, 2010.

  


An Act establishing the New Jersey Health Care Reform Implementation Council and supplementing Title 17B of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.  The federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,Pub.L.111-148, was enacted into law on March 23, 2010, and was amended by the federal “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010,” Pub.L.111-152, enacted into law on March 30, 2010;

     b.  This milestone federal health care reform legislation will profoundly affect the health and economic well-being of American families, businesses, and the economy;

     c.  These new federal laws are designed to make health care coverage more affordable for businesses and families, enable millions of the uninsured to gain coverage, and help to control the relentless rise in health care costs, thereby improving the lives of millions of Americans and giving them the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they have health care coverage;

     d.  The many and far-reaching provisions of the federal health care reform package include:  a prohibition on health insurance companies denying health care coverage based on pre-existing conditions and a guarantee that every American will have access to high-quality health care coverage, regardless of age, gender, or health status; a new, regulated marketplace to promote competition among health insurance companies and provide consumers with the opportunity to purchase the best plan at the best price; the assurance that all Americans will have access to stable, high-quality health care coverage, no matter where they work; a limit on out-of-pocket health care costs so that all Americans will have real health security and peace of mind; sliding-scale subsidies to make health insurance premiums affordable for hard-working, middle-class families; a requirement that health insurance companies be accountable for how premium dollars are spent, and that most of the premium dollars they collect be spent on patient care; tighter regulation of insurance company practices to prevent the abuses that deprive consumers of their coverage when they need it most; much-needed financial relief to small businesses through tax credits that will enable them to afford coverage for their employees; assistance for young adults by requiring that health insurers allow all dependents to remain on their parents’ plan until age 26; an expansion of Medicaid to millions of low-income working families who currently fall through the health care coverage “cracks”; improvements to Medicare that will assist senior citizens and persons with disabilities to afford their drugs and preventive care, and make Medicare fiscally secure; investments in preventive care; and actions to improve the quality of health care overall and curb unnecessary health care spending;

     e.  Federal health care reform requires that the states take certain actions to ensure the effective implementation of various provisions designed to achieve its purposes of greater access to health care, improved health care quality, and cost containment; and various states have undertaken organized efforts to plan for and coordinate the implementation of health care reform measures pursuant to Pub.L.111-148 and Pub.L.111-152; and

     f.  New Jersey should establish a formal entity, which represents the major stakeholders in the Statewide health care system, to plan for and coordinate the implementation of health care reform in accordance with the provisions of Pub.L.111-148, as amended by Pub.L.111-152, and the federal regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and to develop and propose pertinent recommendations for the consideration of State agencies, policymakers, health care providers, and third party payers.

 

     2.  There is established the New Jersey Health Care Reform Implementation Council.

     a.  The council shall include 1[13] 2[251] 292 members as follows:

     (1)  the Commissioners of Banking and Insurance, Health and Senior Services, 1[and]1 Human Services1, and Children and Families1, or their designees, as ex officio members; and

     (2)  1[10] 2[211] 252 public members who are residents of this State, to be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, including:  one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Hospital Association; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the Medical Society of New Jersey; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey State Nurses Association; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the Health Care Association of New Jersey; 1one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Primary Care Association; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Health Officers Association; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the Home Care Association of New Jersey; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey; one person appointed upon the recommendation of AARP New Jersey; one person appointed upon the recommendation of NJ for Health Care; a State-licensed pharmacist; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians;1 2one person appointed upon the recommendation of the 1199SEIU New Jersey Division; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network; one person appointed upon the recommendation of Legal Services of New Jersey; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, New Jersey Chapter;2 one person appointed upon the recommendation of the Employers Association of New Jersey; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans; one person appointed upon the recommendation of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO; and one person appointed upon the recommendation of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy.

     b.  The public members of the council shall serve without compensation but be reimbursed for any expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties.

     c.  The public members of the council shall serve for a term of five years; except that of the members first appointed, 1[five] 2[eight1] nine2 shall serve for a period of five years, 1[three] 2[seven1] nine2 shall serve for a period of four years, and 1[two] 2[six1] seven2 shall serve for a period of three years.

     d.  Each public member of the council shall hold office for the term of his appointment and until his successor has been appointed.  Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made.  A member is eligible for reappointment.

     e.  The council shall organize as soon as practicable after the appointment of its members and shall select a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among its members and a secretary who need not be a member of the council.

     f.  The council shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes.

     g.  The Department of Banking and Insurance shall provide such staff support as the council requires to perform its duties 1and shall apply for such grants from the federal government as may be available for that purpose pursuant to Pub.L.111-148, as amended by Pub.L.111-152.1


     3.  a.  The purpose of the council shall be to plan for and coordinate the implementation of health care reform in this State pursuant to Pub.L.111-148, as amended by Pub.L.111-152, and federal regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and to develop and present policy recommendations relating thereto for the consideration of State agencies, policymakers, health care providers, and third party payers.

     b.  The responsibilities of the council shall include, but not be limited to:

     (1)  analyzing the effect of the provisions of Pub.L.111-148, as amended by Pub.L.111-152, and applicable federal regulations on New Jersey;

     (2)  analyzing and determining the decisions that are required to be made in order to effectuate the purposes of statutory and regulatory provisions relating to federal health care reform;

     (3)  developing a strategic plan and timetable for the implementation of federal health care reform in New Jersey and to ensure that this State benefits to the maximum extent practicable from the provisions of federal law and regulations;

     (4)  taking such actions and making such recommendations as will best ensure a coordinated effort among the relevant State agencies, health care providers, and third party payers to implement federal health care reform in New Jersey; and

     (5)  making such reports as are required pursuant to section 4 of this act.

 

     4.  The council, no later than 12 months after the date of its organization and at least annually thereafter, shall report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), on the results of its activities, and shall include in that report such recommendations for administrative, legislative, and other action as it desires to present pursuant to section 3 of this act.

 

     5.  This act shall take effect immediately.