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    The Michigan Legislature is currently in a lame duck session (the time between the election and when the new session begins after the holidays with those that won their re-election and the newly elected officials). So I just wanted to highlight a few of the Bills that have been referred to the Health Policy Committee or are related to health care issues in Michigan during this lame duck session.
    .
    HB 6710: A bill to allow sharing or certain information pertaining to health care coverage between certain health departments and agencies and insurers. Referred to the Committee on Insurance.
    HB 6708: This bill defines oocytes (human eggs) as organs and thus prohibits the sale of them. There are many things wrong with this bill:

    1- It defines a gamete as an organ. It is not an organ according to the National Institutes of Health.
    2- An organ is defined a collection of tissues that work together and function for specific purpose. However it is not just human eggs that are incorrectly labeled in the Michigan Public Health Code, the code incorrectly labels tendons and ligaments as organs when they are actually connective tissues. However, knowing the makeup and function of different organ systems is part of the new biology curriculum for high school students.
    3- A human egg is a gamete, a single cell that is half of the reproductive process, the analogous male gamete to the oocyte is sperm, which is currently sold and is not covered under this bill.

    HB 6654: Says that an autopsy must be done in the case of a fire and allows for exemption from routine autopsies in cases of religious objections. Referred to the Judiciary Committee.

    SB 1629: Sexual assault victims will under certain circumstances have the cost of their forensic exams paid for by a crime victim services commission. Was signed into law by the Governor on December 26th.

    HB 5046: Requires retail establishments that have employee-only restrooms allows  customers to use the restroom if they show a copy of a statement or a prescription form that indicates he or she has a medical condition that requires immediate access to a toilet.This was one of the last bills passed in the lame duck session.
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    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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    Meet your Policy Fellow: Leah Brynaert

    Leah Brynaert is Health Care Fellow & Correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student in Lyman Briggs College at MSU.