Rep. Harris highlights health care bills in session update

In an emailed update, Representative Paul Harris recapped his work thus far in the 2020 legislative session, highlighting two specific health-related bills he is co-sponsoring this year.


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The first bill Harris highlights is House Bill 2335, a bill that would make it easier for individuals with opioid use disorder to access medications for treatment. The bill would allow a health care entity to dispense up to a two-week supply of medications to treat the disorder, creating an exception to the current 72-hour supply limitation.

“The bill would increase access to medications for those with this disorder by allowing easier and greater supply to the medication they need for treatment. This would make it possible for patients to be at work more consistently, instead of having to leave too often to receive needed medication.

Currently, it’s difficult for many individuals to get off work every week to receive the necessary medication. This bill would allow for a more flexible program. It’s no secret that opioid addiction is out of control. So many people suffer from this disorder, and it’s not just about drug addiction.

Many people suffering from opioid disorders also suffer from mental illness and homelessness. I feel strongly that our state government needs to take action to help these individuals. This bill would be a step in the right direction to help people with this disorder stay on the path to recovery,” writes Harris.

HB 2335 had a public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness last week, and is scheduled for an executive session on January 31.

Harris is also co-sponsoring HB 2378, a bill to that would update requirements for physician assistants, which Harris says will improve the ways PAs are able to deliver care.

“This bill would update the scope and practice of physician assistants (PAs). It would modernize the practice of physician assistants in order to increase access to care, reduce barriers to employment of PAs, and optimize the way PAs deliver quality medical care.

This would also help create uniformity across the entire medical field. I believe that’s very important because it would help entice PAs to come to our state and stay. And that’s significant because more and more, physician assistants are playing an increasingly important role in our personal primary care. I strongly support both of these bills and believe they would help people throughout the state,” writes Harris.

HB 2378 also had a public hearing in the House health committee last week, and is scheduled for an executive session on Friday morning.

Harris also points to cost of living, affordability, and housing and homelessness as big issues that the House Republican Caucus is working on in this short, 60-day session.

“I understand it takes effort and compromise to achieve effective solutions,” concludes Harris in the newsletter. “That’s why I’m committed to working with my fellow members in the House Republican Caucus, as well as with representatives from the other side of the aisle, to resolve these pressing issues. We can’t solve every problem in 60 days, but we can work together on common ground to build a better Washington.”