SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 141

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 10, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes “Legislative Task Force on Health Care Reform Implementation.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Concurrent Resolution establishing the “Legislative Task Force on Health Care Reform Implementation.”

 

Whereas, 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; and

Whereas, These milestone federal health care reform laws will profoundly affect the health and economic well-being of American families, businesses, and the economy; and

Whereas, 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; and

Whereas, 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; and

Whereas, 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

Whereas, The significance of this reform and the importance of effective and efficient implementation suggests the need for State policymakers to solicit input from the most knowledgeable and informed individuals, both within the health care system and  among the general public, to formulate recommendations for implementation in the best interests of New Jerseyans; and

Whereas, It is the responsibility of the Legislature to establish a special legislative entity to develop recommendations for the implementation of health care reform in New Jersey, 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 it is the intent of the Legislature that these recommendations be developed in coordination with the relevant executive branch agencies, and in consultation with the major stakeholders in the Statewide health care system; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

 

     1.    a.  There is established the "Legislative Task Force on Health Care Reform Implementation.”

     b.    The purpose of the task force shall be to develop recommendations for the implementation of health care reform in New Jersey: in accordance with the provisions of Pub.L.111-148, as amended by Pub.L.111-152, and the federal regulations adopted pursuant thereto; in coordination with the relevant executive branch agencies of State government; and in consultation with the major stakeholders in the Statewide health care system.

     c.     The task force shall:

     (1)   analyze 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)   analyze and determine 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)   develop recommendations for 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; and

     (4)   make 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.

     2.    a.  The task force shall be comprised of 13 members, as follows:

     (1)   the chairpersons of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, the Senate Commerce Committee, the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee, and the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, as ex officio members, or their designees;

     (2)   a member of the Senate, to be appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate; and a member of the General Assembly, to be appointed by the Minority Leader of the General Assembly;

     (3)   the Director of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy as an ex officio member;

     (4)   two members of the general public with demonstrated expertise in the work of the task force, one each to be appointed upon the recommendation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly; and

     (5)   at the joint invitation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly, and subject to the availability of these invitees to serve as members of the task force, the following as ex officio members:  the Commissioners of Banking and Insurance, Health and Senior Services, Human Services, and Children and Families, or their designees.

     b.    (1) The task force shall establish the following four advisory committees and for each shall appoint those persons whom the task force determines to be suitable to serve as members of the committee and who are recommended for that purpose by the relevant stakeholders in the Statewide health care system:

     (a)   a health care professionals committee;

     (b)   a health care facilities operations and staffing committee;

     (c)   a health care consumer advocacy committee; and

     (d)   a health care payers committee.

     (2)   The members of the various advisory committees shall serve as special advisors to the task force and, in that capacity, shall hold committee meetings under the direction of a chairperson selected by the members of each committee, to make recommendations to the task force.  The chairperson of each advisory committee may attend meetings and hearings of the task force and participate in the discussion of matters being considered by the members of the task force but shall not vote on such matters.

     c.     The task force shall organize as soon as practicable following the appointment of its members and shall select two co-chairpersons from among its members and a secretary who need not be a member of the task force.  The task force shall meet or hold hearings at any place or places as it may designate during the sessions or recesses of the Legislature, and shall meet at least quarterly.

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

 

     3.    The task force shall:

     a.     provide the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly with quarterly updates of its activities, findings, conclusions, and recommendations for legislation or administrative action; and

     b.    issue a final report of its activities, findings, conclusions, and recommendations for legislation or administrative action to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly within one year after the organization of the task force, but no later than 60 days before the close of the legislative session in which this resolution is adopted.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This concurrent resolution establishes the “Legislative Task Force on Health Care Reform Implementation.”

     The resolution provides specifically as follows:

·   The purpose of the task force is to develop recommendations for the implementation of health care reform in New Jersey: in accordance with the provisions of Pub.L.111-148, as amended by Pub.L.111-152, and the federal regulations adopted pursuant thereto; in coordination with the relevant executive branch agencies of State government; and in consultation with the major stakeholders in the Statewide health care system, including health care providers, third party payers, and health care consumers.

·   The task force is directed to:

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

     -- analyze and determine 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;

     -- develop recommendations for 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; and

     -- make 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.

·   The task force is to be comprised of 13 members as follows: 

     -- the chairpersons of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, the Senate Commerce Committee, the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee, and the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, as ex officio members, or their designees;

     -- a member of the Senate, to be appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate; and a member of the General Assembly, to be appointed by the Minority Leader of the General Assembly;

     -- the Director of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy as an ex officio member;

     -- two members of the general public with demonstrated expertise in the work of the task force, one each to be appointed upon the recommendation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly; and

     -- at the joint invitation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly, and subject to the availability of these invitees to serve as members of the task force, the following as ex officio members:  the Commissioners of Banking and Insurance, Health and Senior Services, Human Services, and Children and Families, or their designees.

·   The task force is to establish the following advisory committees and for each will appoint those persons whom the task force determines to be suitable to serve as members of the committee and who are recommended for that purpose by the relevant stakeholders in the Statewide health care system:

     -- a health care professionals committee;

     -- a health care facilities operations and staffing committee;

     -- a health care consumer advocacy committee; and

     -- a health care payers committee.

·   The members of the various advisory committees are to serve as special advisors to the task force and, in that capacity, will hold committee meetings under the direction of a chairperson selected by the members of each committee, to make recommendations to the task force.  The chairperson of each advisory committee may attend meetings and hearings of the task force and participate in the discussion of matters being considered by the members of the task force but will not vote on such matters.

·   The task force is to organize as soon as practicable following the appointment of its members and to select two co-chairpersons from among its members and a secretary who need not be a member of the task force.

·   The task force is to meet or hold hearings at any place or places as it may designate during the sessions or recesses of the Legislature, and will meet at least quarterly.

·   The task force is further directed to consult with representatives from the major stakeholders in the Statewide health care system, including health care providers, third party payers, and health care consumers, as it determines necessary to effectuate the purposes of this resolution.


·   The task force is to:

     -- provide the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly with quarterly updates of its activities, findings, conclusions, and recommendations for legislation or administrative action; and

     -- issue a final report of its activities, findings, conclusions, and recommendations for legislation or administrative action to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly within one year after the organization of the task force, but no later than 60 days before the close of the legislative session in which this resolution is adopted.