Legislative Health Committee Chairman of the I Mina Trentai Kuåttro Na Liheslaturan, Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., whose committee has oversight of the Government of Guam Health Insurance Plan will be conducting public meetings in the villages to survey government of Guam employees, retirees, dependents, and the general public on the impact of Bill 3-34.
Bill 3-34, is an Act to amend §§ 4301(a) and 4302(c)(2), both of Article 3, Chapter 4, Title 4, Guam Code Annotated, relative to ensuring that only the most economical and beneficial healthcare insurance proposal plan for government of Guam employees and retirees and foster children is forwarded by the Government of Guam health insurance negotiating team to I Maga’låhen Guåhan for consideration; and to divesting the legislature of final approval authority over any contract entered into by I Maga’låhen Guåhan for the same, which received a public hearing today, February 10, 2017 seeks to revise the procurement practice of providing health insurance services to the government of Guam.
“I realize the importance of ensuring we are fiscally responsible with taxpayer resources, however, the government of Guam has a duty and responsibility to ensure its employees, retirees, and dependents have access to quality healthcare services. At a time when we are working hard to expand health insurance access to more of our people, eliminating or reducing services our government workforce has access to at this point is a step in the wrong direction.” According to Senator Rodriguez.
Bill 3-34 as introduced has the potential of shortchanging government of Guam employees, retirees, and dependents the opportunity to have access to all service providers, even more concerning, has the potential of eliminating existing healthcare services that are currently provided to members. To ensure the government of Guam employees, retirees, dependents, and other taxpayers are heard, the Committee on Health will be conducting public meetings:
February 22, 2017, 6:30PM at the Dededo Senior Citizens Center
March 8, 2017, 6:30PM at the Tamuning Senior Citizen Center
March 22, 2017, 6:30PM at the Yona Community Center
Government of Guam employees, retirees, dependents, and the general public are encouraged to review Bill 3-34 and provide comment at any one of the public meetings scheduled. Attendees will also be encouraged to provide their input on the services of the government of Guam health insurance plan they are currently enrolled with, the option of being able to choose the health insurance plan versus an exclusive plan that the government chooses for them, and any other feedback on the government of Guam’s health insurance plan.
Link to Bill 3-34: http://www.guamlegislature.com/Bills_Introduced_34th/Bill%20No.%203-34%20(COR).pdf
The Committee on Military Affairs, under oversight Chairman, Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., will host a Town Hall meeting at the Guam Legislature on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 5:30pm.
The Town Hall will feature presentations by various Veteran Service Organizations, public and private and will be on hand to provide information on the various services they provide.
All Veterans, Military Personnel and Veterans' Organizations are invited to participate and provide the Committee with their input on their issues of concern.
For more information, please contact the Office of Sen. Rodriguez via the website or at 649-8638/0511.
BILL 16-34 (COR)- HUNTER'S LAW
Bill 16-34, known as Hunter's Law was introduced to mandate health insurance carriers to cover Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in their plans. This is in line with Public Law 33-227 that will establish an Autism Center in conjunction with the DISID Building in the near future.
Hunter's Law will assist individuals with Autism on Guam. According to research by the Autism Society, 1% of the world's population have ASD. The national organization, Autism Speaks, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 1 in 68 children have ASD in the United States, while some states report that it is even higher with 1 in 45.
"As many of these undetectable diseases become more prevalent in our community, it is imperative that we continue to support the families and individuals who have these diseases such as ASD. This legislation will provide the support financially and more importantly in healthcare treatment to ease the anxiety that these diseases may bring to the families," Sen. Rodriguez stated.
Link to Bill 16-34: http://www.guamlegislature.com/Bills_Introduced_34th/Bill%20No.%2016-34%20(COR).pdf
BILL 17-34 (COR)- ANIMAL ASSISTED INTERVENTION
Bill 17-34, known as the Animal Assisted Invervention (AAI) Act, will establish guidelines that will incorporate animals into the human experience. AAI, specifically the use of therapy dogs, shows measurable improvements in the conditions of human patients in cancer treatment, ASD and post-traumatice stress disorder, to name a few. Additionally, rescue dogs have contributed to the success of rescue missions especially during disasters.
The legislation for AAI will recognize the different levels of therapeutic dog support. Animal-Assisted Activities is the beginner level for therapy work, while Assisted-Animal Therapy involves specific goals for the patient or client, usually involving a medical professional or therapist, and works with the dog-handler to ensure such goals are met.
"For far too long, many of our island's residents have suffered the devastating impacts of the inability to seek proper care for many issues. The AAI Act will allow and open the doors of opportunity to ensure qualified patients or clients have an added tool in these animals to address the care they need to work toward living productive, healthy lives. This tool will broaden the scope of therapy, thus expanding the positive outcomes for many individuals," Sen. Rodriguez shared.
Link to Bill 17-34: http://www.guamlegislature.com/Bills_Introduced_34th/Bill%20No.%2017-34%20(COR).pdf
For more information contact the office of Sen. Rodriguez at 649-8638/0511.