Sappey supports health care reforms
Ensuring affordable and quality health care in Pennsylvania is one of my main priorities. The state legislature has recently acted on this issue; however, there is still more to be done. I was happy to vote for legislation that establishes a state-run health exchange, rather than leaving it to the federal government, to help ensure lower premiums statewide. I also voted for legislation that would ensure treatment coverage for those suffering from Lyme disease.
As I’ve heard from many constituents regarding rising healthcare costs, specifically over prescription drugs and insurance, it is clear further reform is needed. That is why, in addition to the votes shared above, I have introduced or co-sponsored the following pieces of legislation, which I hope to see considered for a vote.
- House Bill 1435
- Extending FMLA
I introduced House Bill 1435, which would provide for six weeks of guaranteed family medical leave. It also would extend leave to siblings, grandparents and children so that families can better deal with serious illness for those who don’t have a suitable caregiver.
- House Bill 1013
- Prohibiting Health Insurers from Denying or Excluding Coverage Based on a Pre-Existing Condition – sponsored by Rep. Peter Schweyer
This bill would protect the many Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions by making it illegal for insurers to deny or exclude coverage based on a pre-existing condition. It would also prohibit insurers from charging higher premiums to patients with pre-existing conditions.
- House Bill 569
- Spread Pricing Legislation – sponsored by Rep. Anthony DeLuca
To reduce the cost of prescription drugs, this legislation will make spread pricing illegal. This practice currently allows Pharmacy Benefit Managers to increase prices charged to insurance companies, reduce payments to pharmacies, and profit off the difference.
- House Bill 570
- Pharmacy Gag Clauses – sponsored by Rep. Anthony DeLuca
This bill will prohibit gag clauses in pharmacists’ contracts to ensure they can inform consumers if less expensive, but therapeutically equivalent, prescription drugs or generic options exist.
- House Bill 836
- Parity Coverage for Mental Health – sponsored by Reps. Thomas Murt and Michael Schlossberg
This bill would reinforce existing federal legislation so that the PA Department of Insurance can better enforce parity between coverage of physical health and mental health for substance abuse services.
- House Bill 1323
- Sales Tax Elimination of Insured and Medicaid Assistance Breast Pumps and Supplies – sponsored by Reps. Karen Boback and Margo Davidson
As other states have done, this bill would exempt breast pumps and related supplies that are covered under Medicaid or private insurance from sales tax to support new families.
- Act 42 of 2019
- State Based Exchange and Reinsurance Program – sponsored by Rep. Bryan Cutler
This new law, originally House Bill 3, which I voted for, creates a state-run insurance marketplace to replace the federal exchange in Pennsylvania and uses the savings to operate a reinsurance program to cover high-cost individuals, keeping premiums low statewide.
- House Bill 629
- Insurance Coverage for Lyme Disease – sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp
To ensure that those with Lyme disease can access treatment quickly, this bill would require insurers to cover short- and long-term medical care related to tick-borne illnesses. This legislation has passed the House and is currently being considered by the Senate.
- House Bill 1873
- Caps Insulin Costs at $100 month – sponsored by Rep. Jeanne McNeill
I have cosponsored legislation that would cap insulin co-payments at $100 for a month’s supply and require an investigation by the Attorney General's Office into the rising cost of insulin pricing.
- Prior Authorization Reform
- I am also supporting planned legislation that would establish a basic framework to determine when it is medically appropriate to exempt a patient from step therapy and prior authorization procedures. Currently, many treatment options are held up over administrative review by insurance companies. This legislation would increase transparency and ensure patients get the care they need.