ISAHU Legislative Article for February 2020
Happy Belated Valentine’s Day everyone! Hopefully it was an enjoyable day for all. And Happy Leap Year!
Impeachment is over “for now” as the Senate acquitted President Trump on a strictly party-line vote. We’ll have to see if the Democrats continue to pursue over avenues as some of them have suggested. At least for now, there’s a chance that some actual work on some major healthcare issues may be possible.
Regardless, NAHU remains extremely active on Capitol Hill and in the White House. And there’s a few things in D.C. to celebrate for a change!
Two major pieces of surprise-billing legislation were marked up in their respective House committees this week: HR 5826 (Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act) and HR 5800 (Ban Surprise Billing Act). Both of which utilize arbitration.
The White House released President Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget request for 2021 this past Monday. The budget includes sweeping cuts to non-defense spending, particularly in Medicare and Medicaid, and a slight increase for the Pentagon.
There was an emergency Compliance Corner webinar on state individual mandate reporting. If you or your client is an out-of-state employer who provides health coverage, you must ensure that the state of New Jersey receives any required 1095 document for each New Jersey resident you employ. If you weren’t able to watch it live, you can see it here.
NAHU is asking that members share their client’s 226-J tax penalty letters! They hope an influx of these letters to Congress will show what a significant problem this is for the employer community and help solve this issue by passing HR 4070 and S 2366. Please email email@example.com and attach the 226-J Tax letters in your email along with any contact information.
Cap Con – Right now, there are twenty registrations from Indiana. Appointments with all Congressional offices are being finalized and the “booklet” for all attendees is in final stages so it can be emailed out to all attendees prior to everyone’s departure for D.C.
As mentioned last month, NAHU’s coalition opposing single payer and the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, continues to share this message via advertising through both television and digital media, underscoring the perils of adopting a single-payer or Medicare-for-All type plan.s
NAHU also continues to work: COBRA as creditable coverage, Prescription Drug Transparency, plays a lead role in a coalition opposing Single-Payer proposals, return to a 40-hour work week rule, changes to Medicare Advantage plans, employer reporting improvements, MLR exclusion, etc. Inroads are being made on all the above so stay tuned.
Obstacles still exist however due to House Democrats in charge of the pertinent committees House are making it difficult to bring such items to the floor for a vote.
State House Update
Your ISAHU Legislative Team continues to develop and maintain relationships with appropriate Leadership, Committee Chairs and Committee Members.
Nothing new to report on Section 1332 and it does not appear that it will be addressed during the “short session” that ends March 11th. All new guidance from D.C. will be a part of any future discussions. Any updates on such discussions will continue to be shared.
The ISAHU Legislative Committee, especially David Berman and D Hall have been working with State Representatives Donna Schaibley, Martin Carbaugh, Matt Lehman and Senator John Ruckelshaus on various legislative issues. Discussions have also occurred with NAIFA Legislative Lobbyist and Bose Public Affairs. One main issue was Disclosure of Agent Fees/Commissions as included in HB 1005. That Bill failed to move from the House to the Senate, but it is expected that at least some of the initiatives such as Surprise Billing, All Claims Data Base, Prescription Drug Costs, etc. will be included in one of the Senate Bills now under consideration in the House. A close eye is being focused on ongoing hearings and vBill Amendments.
A change to LTC Partnership Plans is also under discussion and David Berman has been instrumental in bringing possible pitfalls to the attention of needed parties.
As normal, Bose Public Affairs (ISAHU lobbyist) has been assisting on all these issues.
As I like to mention every month, the prevention of onerous Bills making it through the Legislature is due largely to ISAHU’s continued relationships with folks in the Governor’s office, Lt. 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 new to report this month since Commissioner Steve Robertson spoke at the Jan 21st Day On The Hill event addressing goal of always working for the consumer and an update on NAIC initiatives and a meeting to be held in Indianapolis later this year.
As mentioned last month, eighteen ISAHU members attended the NAIFA-ISAHU Day On The Hill held on January 21st at the One America auditorium. Speakers included Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Senator Mike Gaskill, Representative Martin Carbaugh, ISAHU Lobbyist Trent Hahn, Anthem’s Director of State Affairs – Logan Harrison and IDOI Commissioner Steve Robertson.
Lunch was served in the Rotunda at the Statehouse for attendees and several State Representatives and Senators which gave all a chance to have valuable discussions on various issues.
The Legislative committee continues to reconfirm previously identified specific individuals to be responsible for various product areas of the industry which should lead to better information sharing on an ongoing basis. It continues to be updated and should be ready for distribution over the next few weeks.
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.
Nineteen ISAHU members are attending Capitol Conference in Washington, D.C. and due to the cutoff for this newsletter updates will be provided next month.
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 and other members 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 and the general public!
Dwight “D” Hall
ISAHU Legislative Chair