By Dwight “D.” Hall
Happy Holidays folks! Of course with this being written in the midst of Open Enrollment season, some may not be all that “Happy” at least not yet. But, stay positive and do your best to work through these times and I’m confident we will find ways to indeed make these days much “Happier” in the future.
As a slight update on the election resultss –
Senate – GOP 54 with the results of the LA race on Dec 6th – Democrats/Independents 46
House – GOP 246 (at least – a couple of recounts still in process) out of 435.
Senate – GOP 40 – Democrats 10
House – GOP 71 – Democrats 29
We’re already beginning to see some of the more partisan reaction on various pieces of legislation out in D.C. How much will actually be accomplished over the next month before the change over in Senate Leadership from Harry Reid to Mitch McConnell is yet to be seen.
There continue to be political events and fund raisers at both the State and Federal levels. It’s very important that ISAHU be present at a select number of these and members of your Legislative Team do our very best to participate when cost effective to do so.
One of the recent events attended was:
- Hall and David Berman were guests at the Insurance Institute of IN Legislative Preview and Luncheon at their offices on Dec. 3rd. Meetings took place with various industry and Legislative personnel during the event.
Attending such “group” functions as described above, enables us to stretch both HUPAC and ISAHU-PAC dollars to the maximum.
As I try to remind folks, please remember that our elected officials are always in need of hearing your concerns on healthcare (and other issues as well.). They particularly are looking for actual stories from you, your clients and prospects that outline either pitfalls or successes regarding ACA. Anything we can share with our elected officials regarding areas of expertise – healthcare and otherwise – is important. Please share with them when you can.
Open Enrollment for ACA started on Nov 15th and it appears that the www.healthcare.gov site’s readiness was definitely better than last time around. Hopefully those of you who have and continue to utilize it for your clients are having a much better experience than before.
As mentioned previously, there have been many pieces of legislation offered up by the House (over 360 in total at last count) with many that address ACA concerns. But, Senator Harry Reid prevented any of them from moving through the Senate especially before the election. It remains doubtful if any of them get to a floor vote now in this “lame duck” session.
As always, please continue to read the Newswires and Legislative Updates that come from NAHU. It’s absolutely the best information available for your use.
State House Update
The “Long (Budget) Session” starts in Jan and is scheduled to end by April 15th. At this point, there is no indication that there will be any major health care issues brought forward. And with the election outcome, this should not change. This success is due to ongoing efforts of the ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs, efforts by the Legislative Team and our relationships with other “sister” associations like Big I, PIA, NAIFA, IMA and NFIB. Updates will be provided as any information becomes known.
ISAHU will again be sponsoring ISAHU Day On The Hill. It will be held Jan 19th at the One America Auditorium in downtown Indianapolis beginning at 8:15am and will include a Panel Discussion from local healthcare experts in the morning and the NAHU Self-Funding Certification Course in the afternoon. More information is already online.
At this time of year, we are genuinely blessed to have our NAHU staff watching our for us in D.C. They continue to undoubtedly be the absolute top folks in D.C. on healthcare issues and Congress relies on them on an ongoing basis. In addition, we are also blessed to have those countless NAHU members around the State and Country 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 NAHU members. Many of these folks do this in anonymity and solely for the benefit of the Association, our members and the general public. If you know of any of our members who serve in this fashion, please thank them every chance you have.
And a special end of year THANK YOU to all the Local Legislative Chairs and those that serve on their committees. Your service is both needed and vitally important.
And I have to mention our PAC’s – both HUPAC and ISAHU-PAC. Your financial help is needed to fund both of them. Fund raising cycles never end for candidates at both the State and Federal levels. And of course they were especially important during the final weeks before the election. Both ISAHU and NAHU do an excellent job of supporting candidates that support the industry as a whole. All dollars collected go toward that goal. Using those dollars, we have been very successful particularly here in Indiana in getting legislators elected that have and will continue to support the vast majority of industry goals.
As has been mentioned, each election cycle pretty much depletes both of our PAC’s coffers. We need to replenish them for ongoing political events and the next election cycle. Put a monthly contribution on your credit card as many of us do and it really is a painless process. It’s a small price to pay to support activities that really do make a difference in the ongoing legislative battles.
Note again that ISAHU-PAC is on a fiscal year from July 1 – June 30th each year. So if you are not on a monthly contribution plan, please consider getting on one or making your 2014 – 2015 contribution in your usual manner.
I and the rest of the ISAHU Legislative Committee truly do appreciate the opportunity to work with you to help promote real “health-care reform”. Please feel welcome to contact any of us at any time.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!