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Utah House committee approves ‘Scott’s bill’ meant to help health care workers

Dan Kovach
Jackie Jolley, Rep. Steve Eliason (R-Sandy), and Dr. Myles Greenberg speak in support of House Bill 278 on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

House Bill 278, better known as ‘Scott’s bill’ had successfully passed its first challenge within the Utah Legislature.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason, the bill is aimed at helping health care workers who seek treatment for their mental health. This bill will require health insurers to provide out-of-network options for these health care workers looking to treat their mental health without restricting them to seek out treatment from their own workplace.

The bill was passed unanimously in the House Business and Labor Committee on Tuesday afternoon, with an emotional testimony impacting the overall decision to pass the bill. Jackie Jolley spoke on behalf of her late husband who inspired the creation of this bill, Scott Jolley, who began experiencing mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackie shared the story of her husband, who was required to seek out treatment from the same hospital he worked at, which only deepened his depression. After being admitted to his own hospital in Feb. 2021, Scott died by suicide two weeks later because the humilitation and the treatment was too much for him to bear. Eliason, the sponsor of the bill, stated that this bill is aimed at providing extra help to health care workers in similar situations.

The bill will move on to the full House of Representatives for a vote and then it will need to be passed by the Senate.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.