LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan Democratic legislators have introduced legislation Thursday to address key issues surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on the state.
State Reps Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn), Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown), Cara Clemente (D-Lincoln Park), and Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) are behind what they're calling a "comprehensive package to combat coronavirus."
“As legislators, we need to work with our institutions to provide them the tools they need to minimize the risk for Michigan residents,” said Hammoud. “This bill package establishes a dedicated plan to help address several aspects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has begun to take root in our country and state. It is vital that we implement all necessary protections to ensure that those in need of medical services are not deterred by cost, that cases are accurately reported to the state, and that people aren't forced to go to work following exposure over fear of losing out on a paycheck.”
Representatives say after the news of two confirmed cases in Michigan and announcements from many colleges and universities across the state about switching to online-only classes until mid-April, these bills would take critical steps toward increasing public safety and protecting all Michiganders.
The package would allow the creation of a pandemic outbreak fund, remove cost barriers to testing, treatment, and other COVID-19 costs, and urge Congress to provide Michigan with increased support in this times of uncertainty, similar to this.
Here are brief descriptions of each bill in the package:
- House Bill 5629: Would require DHHS, in coordination with local health departments, to develop a model pandemic preparedness plan to assist governmental entities (Rep. Clemente)
- House Bill 5630: Would establish coronavirus reporting requirements, definitions, and coverage of the uninsured (Rep. Hammoud)
- House Bill 5631: Creates the pandemic outbreak fund, which would be dedicated to addressing costs and acting as a reinsurance to help cover wage loss (Rep. Hammoud)
- House Bill 5632: Would require Medicaid coverage, at no out-of-pocket expense, of costs associated with the coronavirus, including treatment and testing, wage loss, medications, vaccines, and hand sanitizer and face masks (Rep. Hammoud)
- House Bill 5633: Would require private insurance coverage, at no out-of-pocket expense, of costs associated with the coronavirus, including treatment and testing, medications, vaccines, and hand sanitizer and face masks (Rep. Camilleri)
- House Resolution 242: Urges Congress and the Center for Disease Control to provide financial support to our state to assist us in combating the coronavirus (Rep. Manoogian)