Statehouse Update: Here's the Legislation We're Watching During the Lame Duck Session

Posted on 11/11/22

The 2022 lame duck session was a critical time when elected officials had just two months to pass legislation before the end of the year. Lawmakers attempted to push their priority legislation to the finish line before the end of the year. A number of bills at the Statehouse vied for attention, including a handful that will affect Ohioans 50-plus.

With the growing number of interactions between first responders and individuals affected with dementia-related illnesses, it's essential those responders receive the skills, tools and knowledge to address and assist the estimated 220,000 Ohioans with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, as well as their caregivers and families.

House Bill 23 brings peace of mind for the safety and well-being of their loved ones. First responders will have the tools to identify the signs of a person with dementia and respond with care, resulting in positive outcomes for everyone. 

Learn about Veronica's story.

  • Update: The Ohio Senate unanimously passed HB23 on Dec. 7, which would create training for first responders to better prepare them for interacting with individuals who have dementia. To become law, it must go to the House for approval of the amendment and then to Gov. DeWine.
  • Update: The Ohio House concurred with the Senate's amendment on this bill on Dec.12. It now goes to Gov. DeWine for consideration.
  • Update: HB 23 was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine on Jan. 2, 2023. Read AARP Ohio's statement.

This bipartisan bill would cap the price of insulin at no more than $35 for a 30-day supply.

  • Update: The bill had no movement and stalled in committee.

House Bill 461 will establish a private room per-day rate to be added to a facility’s daily Medicaid rate.  Medicaid will pay facilities an additional reimbursement for each resident housed in a private room. Nursing facilities will be incentivized to offer single-occupancy rooms, ultimately increasing safety in nursing home residents.

The quality of resident care and nursing home operations and performance is often related to rates and reimbursements. AARP Ohio is urging lawmakers to pass commonsense legislation that would increase Medicaid rates in 2023 for nursing homes. The bill would also be a major benefit for nursing facilities, as incentive payments may be related to direct staff retention.

Research has consistently shown that higher levels of registered nurse staffing are associated with better resident care quality in multiple areas, including decreased infections, fewer bed sores and lower mortality rates.

Elder abuse is on the rise, yet it often goes unreported. AARP urges the passage of this legislation to ensure mandatory reports are filed.

  • Update: On Nov. 15, HB 419 passed unanimously in the House and will now head to the Senate, where we expect it to find support. We will keep you updated as we learn more information. We thank the members of the House for their support in recognizing this important legislation that helps protect Ohio’s most vulnerable.
  • Update: HB 419 provisions were included in legislation (SB 288) that was passed and signed by Gov. DeWine on Jan. 3. AARP supported legislation creating penalties for mandatory reporters that do not report elder abuse. Elder abuse often goes unreported. The passage of this legislation will ensure mandatory reporting.

AARP opposes House Bill 675, which would roll back existing safeguards against the unsolicited marketing of Medicare supplement policies.

  • Update: HB 675 was passed by the House on Dec. 13 (65-24).
  • Update: AARP successfully collaborated with the Ohio Department of Insurance to stop legislation that would have stripped away existing safeguards and allowed Medicare supplemental insurance companies to engage in aggressive marketing tactics.  AARP supports strong consumer protection policies that safeguard all of Ohio’s 50+ population. 

AARP opposes House Bill 458 because older voters are disproportionately affected by voter ID laws, as many can lack the proper identification. Proposals, such as this one, would be best debated in the next Ohio General Assembly, with the benefit of hearings and a full and open discussion, to consider how changes to the law will impact all Ohioans.

AARP supported legislation to expand Ohio’s Medicaid component, known as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), to Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery, Lorain, Lucas and Summit Counties.  PACE programs are designed to allow individuals age 55+ who are assessed as needing a nursing home level of care to remain living independently in their homes and communities. Expanding PACE, beyond Cuyahoga County into these other communities, is an important step to increasing opportunities for older Ohioans to age in their homes. 

  • Update: HB 600 provisions were included in legislation that was passed and now on the governor's desk.

Keep an eye out for emails, visit our website and follow us on Facebook (AARP Ohio/AARPOH) and Twitter (@AARPOhio) for the latest updates.

This story is provided by AARP Ohio. Visit the AARP Ohio page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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