Alcohol abuse treatment, health care worker vaccine bills clear committee

TRENTON – Assembly lawmakers released a bill from committee Monday that would require all health insurers to cover alcohol and substance abuse treatment like they do for other diseases and illnesses.

The bill, A1665/S1253, cleared the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee following a vote along party lines. The proposal would expand health insurance coverage for the treatment of mental illness and substance-abuse disorders.

Flu vaccines

The committee also voted to release an amended version of a bill, A2172, that would require certain health care facilities to offer, and health care workers to receive, annual influenza vaccines.

The bill, which cleared along party lines, was quickly voted on following no testimony to conform with the bill’s Senate version.

The committee also released several other bills:

A4092, would establish a Local Hospital Fee pilot program.

A2188, would permit the reuse of certain returned prescription drugs within licensed health care facilities. It would also direct the commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services to evaluate the feasibility of reuse for treatment of indigent patients.

A3387/S2227, would require medical examiner training about sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and requesting decedent’s medical information and brain donation for research.

AJR80, would designate November of each year as Food Pantry Donation Month.