Council of the District of Columbia
Greetings from the Committee on Health!The Committee on Health has had another busy week here in the early stages of Council Period 19. Inaddition to the ongoing oversight work, the Committee has been actively working on a number of otherimportant issues.On Tuesday February 8, 2011 the Committee of the Whole was briefed by the Chief Financial Officer andothers on the release of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The report detailed a smallsurplus of approximately $3 million showing the Council’s hard work at creating a balanced budget. Inaddition, for the first time, the accompanying report?] (more commonly known as theYellowbook)indicated that no serious deficiencies in Medicaid existed in FY2010.On Wednesday, February 9, 2011 the Committee on Public and Consumer Affairs held their publichearing on B19-2: the Department of Health Care Finance District of Columbia Exchange Authorizing Actof 2011, introduced by Councilmember Catania at the first legislative session of the Council Period. Thislegislation sets the framework for creating a Health Insurance Exchange for the District of Columbia asrequired by health care reform. These exchanges represent a remarkable new tool in the healthinsurance market and will provide improved access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance.This bill has been sequentially referred to the Committee on Health and we plan to hold a hearing assoon as Councilmember Alexander moves the legislation out of her Committee.On Thursday February 10, 2011, the Committee on Health held two public hearings. The first centeredon B19-7: the Athletic Concussion Protection Act of 2011”. This legislation focuses on the health andsafety of our student athletes and others who participate in athletic activities by requiring those whosuffer or appear to suffer from a concussion be immediately removed from the field of play. Theseathletes would not be allowed to return to any activity until cleared by a licensed health careprofessional. In addition, this legislation creates a training program for coaches, athletes, parents, andother school personnel in the signs, symptoms, and dangers of concussions. The Committee heard froma number of experts in the field including physicians, athletic trainers, and school nurses as well asrepresentatives from the Brain Injury Association of DC, the Washington Redskins, the National FootballLeague, and Children’s National Medical Center.