Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Wednesday released a bill to create a so-called "public option" health plan that would be sold through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges and compete with private exchange plans, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Florida, and New Jersey.
- District of Columbia: Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Wednesday released a bill to create a so-called "public option" health plan that would be sold through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges and would compete with private exchange plans. Because Senate control is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote, Kaine said he hopes the Senate will pass the bill through the chamber's budget reconciliation process, which would allow the Senate to approve the measure with only 51 votes and prevent a filibuster (Hellmann, The Hill, 2/17).
- Florida: Raul Pino, the health administrator for Florida's Orange County, on Thursday said two women "dressed up as grannies" in an attempt to get Covid-19 vaccines. Currently in Florida, adults ages 65 and older are eligible for vaccinations. However, the two women—one who is 33 years old and the other 44 years old—were ineligible for the shots because of their ages. According to Pino, the women presented valid cards from CDC saying they had received their first vaccine doses, meaning their dress-up ruse may have worked in the past. "I don't know how they escaped the first time," Pino said. The women did not receive a second dose of the vaccines, according to Pino (Mazzei, New York Times, 2/19).
- New Jersey: The New Jersey Hospital Association has named Raymond Brandes as its first COO and Christopher Bailey as the association's CFO. Brandes has previously served as VP of public affairs, population health, and strategic planning at University Hospital and as deputy chief of staff for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). Bailey has previously served as assistant VP of the Rutgers Financial Management unit at RWJBarnabas Health and as assistant VP of financial planning and budgeting at Rutgers University (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/16).