Health care-related bills we’re watching in Arizona

Arizona’s 2019 legislative session kicked off Monday, and legislators have already filed a flurry of health care-related bills. From vaping to vaccines, we count roughly 30 bills related to Arizonans’ health as of day four of session — here are seven we’re watching:

HB2024introduced by Rep. Kavanagh, would include electronic smoking devices, like vape pens and e-cigarettes, in the Smoke-Free Arizona Act. The act limits where smoking is allowed in the state; and the passage of this act would mean people could be fined for smoking electronic smoking devices in prohibited areas.

HB2068 would give clinical nurse specialists prescribing authority. With the passage of the bill, a CNS could prescribe medication if they meet specific qualifications and work in certain settings.

HB2120 would include “medically necessary chiropractic services” in services covered by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona’s Medicaid agency.

HB2162 would remove a current vaccine exemption that allows children to attend school without documentation of required immunizations, with only a signed statement acknowledging warnings by the parent. Exemptions would be limited to those situations were vaccination is certified as detrimental to the health of the child.

HB2159 would exempt prescription drugs and medical oxygen from city taxes.

HB2148 would allow needle exchange programs, and require those programs to also offer educational materials on treatment, kits that contain opioid antagonists, and referrals to services. The programs would be established in an effort to prevent the spread of bloodborne diseases, reduce needle-stick injuries, and  “encourage individuals who inject drugs to enroll in evidence-based treatment.”

HB2153, a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Shope and Hernandez, would exempt feminine hygiene products and diapers from sales tax.