|January 28, 2019
Report from the State House
Events at the Legislature this week focused primarily on "Interested Party Introductions," where groups like the MMA who appear frequently before certain committees are allowed a few minutes to introduce ourselves. Our introduction in the Health and Human Services Committee was particularly poignant, since Gordon Smith joined Peter Michaud at the podium to tell the committee, "I'm leaving the MMA next week, but I can't tell you yet where I'm going." (See this week's lead article to learn where Gordon is going.) "But I expect to see you here often," he added. As a result of advocating for quality health care before this and other committees for so many years, Gordon is well known to many committee members.
This coming week committees begin their public hearings, with the Health Coverage, Insurance & Financial Services Committee taking testimony on LD 1, a bill that will codify various protections from the Affordable Care Act into Maine law. There will also be hearings on the first of several bills on firearm safety (Taxation) and opioids (Education & Cultural Affairs). The big event in Health & Human Services will be the hearing on Jeanne Lambrew's nomination to serve as commissioner of the Department of Health & Human Services, to be held Thursday afternoon.
On Monday, Acting Commissioner Lambrew announced the appointment of the new Director of MaineCare Services. Michelle Probert comes to the Department from Bath Iron Works, where she is Manager of Integrated Health Services and is responsible for the oversight and strategic management of employee health, wellness, and welfare related benefits. Prior to joining Bath Iron Works in 2014, Probert served the Department as Director of Strategic Initiatives for MaineCare from 2011-2014. Probert recently served on the Board of the Maine Health Access Foundation, and as Chair of the Healthcare Purchaser Alliance of Maine and was a 2016 Bruce Bradley Fellow for The LeapFrog Group, which focuses on steering employees and their families to safer, higher-quality hospitals and health systems.
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