Posted on May 13, 2021
Hartford – On Wednesday The House of Representatives discussed legislation that would expand insurance coverage for individuals seeking substance abuse services. State Rep. Bill Buckbee (R-New Milford) continues to advocate that these services be made available to vulnerable individuals, especially during times of crisis. In addition to this legislation, the House also took up a bill that will help restaurants in their re-opening efforts.
“There are gaps in the healthcare system that are difficult to fix with the broad stroke of a pen. The legislation favorably acted on today will give the legislature insight on the complications of provider networks and peer support services. Both of which are integral to the substance abuse recovery process,” explained Buckbee. “We have made great strides, locally, in making sure those in crisis are able to connect with the appropriate services available. This state law will bring that continuum of care to a higher level.”
The task forces are charged with reporting their legislative recommendations and findings to the Insurance Committee by the end of the year. This deadline was intentionally set so potential follow-up legislation could be considered by the legislature in the upcoming 2022 session.
“The task forces are seeking to encourage greater inclusion of mental health services within offered network plans, and how to expand coverage of peer support services to more Connecticut residents. While I recognize that the legislative process is time consuming, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together and I continue to work on bringing solutions to our community on this issue,” said Buckbee.
The bill was unanimously acted on by the House. It heads up to the Senate Floor, where it awaits further action.
Helping Connecticut’s Eateries
In addition to the expansion of health services legislation, the House took up a bill that will help restaurants in their utilization of third-party delivery services. During the pandemic, there was a significant uptick in delivery orders. Restaurants have since leaned heavily on third-party services to facilitate some deliveries to customers. Currently, there is no law prohibiting delivery services to advertise that they have a relationship with a specific restaurant. As a result, issues involving the delivery services have been wrongly traced back to various eateries.
“This was a common-sense fix that had bipartisan support from its inception in the Commerce Committee. We heard a few instances that delivery services were giving a bad reputation to some restaurants, to no fault of their own,” explained Buckbee, who serves as the Ranking Member to the committee. “This new bill will study the impact of these relationships and give guidance to businesses and their delivery service providers.”
It should also be noted that earlier in the day a bill was approved that names pizza as the official state food. According to Buckbee, who was supportive of the measure, these concepts will help restaurants as they re-open their doors.
For more legislative updates you can go to Buckbee’s website at RepBuckbee.com.