ISAHU Legislative Article for March 2019
Welcome to spring although some are still experiencing some winter-like conditions. I’m sure “normal” spring conditions will be here before we know it!
The president’s national emergency declaration regarding border security, the congressional resolution and consequent veto by President Trump has taken the spotlight lately. With Democrats controlling the House and Republicans controlling the Senate, it is an interesting time for sure in Washington, D.C. How these situations will affect NAHU initiatives is yet to be seen.
NAHU continues to combat the call for Medicare for all initiatives with appropriate meetings in D.C. and members responding to Operation Shouts to elected representatives and senators. This appears like it’s going to be an ongoing battle for the near future.
The Operation Shout request of March 19th addressed the Medicare “two-midnight” policy. H.R. 1562 and S. 753 have been introduced on a bi-partisan basis and your completion of the shouts will greatly assist in getting out the message to the hill.
NAHU continues with other efforts to address the following in this new Congress – return to a 40 hour work week rule, permanent repeal of the HIT tax and the Excise/Cadillac tax, allowance of COBRA as creditable coverage, changes to Medicare Advantage plans, employer reporting improvements, HSA changes, MLR exclusion, etc. It was hoped that delay of the Cadillac Tax until 2023, delay of HIT Tax until 2022 and delay of the Medical Device Tax until 2025 would have been included in the overall budget bill that was to be passed by end of the 115th Congress. That did not happen so work continues in the new Congress to bring these items back to the table.
As indicated last time, all “fixes” to the ACA will have to begin anew in the new Congress. Thankfully NAHU remains steadfast in moving these solutions forward. “Costs” to the budget still remain an obstacle to permanent repeal of some of these issues. However, witDemocratsts now in charge in of the pertinent committees, it may well be more difficult to bring such items to the floor for a vote. This is especially true due to the number of freshman representatives.
State House Update
Your ISAHU Legislative Team continues to develop and maintain relationships with appropriate leadership, committee chairs and committee members.
Discussions continue with appropriate members in the Indiana House and Senate as well as governor’s office to discuss promoting Section 1332. The discussions will include such things as the possible use of “risk pool” federal and state funds to encourage more competition from a payer and plan standpoint. Use of non-compliant ACA product offerings is also a possibility. All new guidance from D.C. will be a part of discussions. Any updates on such discussions will continue to be shared.
Work on STM bills also continues. Discussions have occurred with Rep Martin Carbaugh and conference calls have occurred with two STM carriers. Further meetings are occurring with the intent to expand the number of months of coverage from the current 6 months maximum. David Berman has been leading this effort.
As I like to mention every month, the prevention of onerous bills making it through the legislature is due largely ISAHU’s continued relationships with folks in the governor’s office, lieutenant governor’s office and statehouse that support our industry overall. These relationships also directly impact the efforts of our ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs, plus the efforts of our sister organizations – Big I, PIA, NAIFA, Insurance Institute, IMA, IN Chamber and NFIB. And it also affects the ongoing efforts of several ISAHU members who continue to work on maintaining such working relationships with legislators that may impact support for any legislation of assistance or detriment to the industry.
Nothing to report this month. Meetings will be set as needed if anything changes on their initiatives at the statehouse.
The NAIFA – ISAHU Day on the Hill occurred on Feb 26th at the One America Auditorium and State House Rotunda. There were excellent speakers at One America which was then followed by a luncheon in the State House Rotunda with Legislators and their staff. ISAHU-PAC Chair – Roger Skinner and ISAHU Co-Legislative Chair – Susan Rider were the main ISAHU representatives at the event. (Note that unfortunately the event was scheduled at the same time as Capitol Conference due to facility issues.) There were 10 ISAHU attendees.
Work on the date for next year’s event is underway.
Capitol Conference took place on Feb 24 – 27 in Washington, D.C. 22 attendees from Indiana were involved. Appointments were held in all 11 legislative offices and the normal “booklet” of information for all IN attendees was provided to them before arrival in D.C. (Many Thanks to Susan Rider for her assistance!) One of the many highlights was having Alex Azar – Head of HHS (former Lilly executive from Indianapolis) speak to everyone. Remember – You can get updates on the various speakers and presentations at NAHU.org. Below are ISAHU members at Capitol Conference with Sentators Mike Braun and Todd Young.
NAHU staff continue to be a vital part of ongoing discussions with the new 116th Congress. Details are provided in the Washington Updates each Friday. Please be sure to read them which will assist you in responding to your client’s issues.
As always, I would ask you to remember to thank the countless NAHU members around IN and the country as a whole that continuously put in long hours to ensure the best information possible is being shared with legislators, HHS, CMS, IRS, DOL, DOI’s and of course other NAHU members. As you know, much of this is always done in anonymity and solely for the benefit of the Association, our members and the general public.
And as always – ongoing THANKS to all the local Legislative Chairs who serve on the Legislative Committee as well as those that serve on other committees. Your service is vitally important and greatly appreciated.
Ongoing simple message – IF you are not participating in both PAC’s – HUPAC – our Federal PAC and ISAHU-PAC – our State PAC, then PLEASE do so! Both PAC’s help support activities that really do make a difference in the ongoing legislative battles. Information can be found on the www.HUPAC.org , www.nahu.org and the www.ISAHU.org sites.
I and the rest of the ISAHU Legislative Committee greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with you to continue to promote real market based “healthcare reform”. Please feel welcome to contact any of us at any time.
Thanks for all you do to continue to improve the healthcare system for your clients!