ISAHU Legislative Article for May 2019
Happy Month of May! That means that the sounds of roaring engines can be heard in Indianapolis on most days leading up to the Indy 500. I’ll be joining a “few” other folks that day for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing! Maybe I’ll see some of you there!
Things on Capitol Hill have been extremely busy over the last few weeks. NAHU has submitted comments to the Administration regarding selling insurance across state lines; the House introduced NAHU supported legislation to treat COBRA as creditable coverage for Medicare Part B; the Trump Administration issued a final rule on pharmaceutical companies disclosing prices in advertising; the Trump Administration announced a list of principles applying to surprise medical bills.
NAHU has also continued work on repeal of the HIT tax, Prescription Drug Transparency (Operation Shout of May 6th) and are part of a coalition opposing Single-Payer proposals. Inroads are being made on all the above so stay tuned.
And as previously reported, NAHU continues with other efforts to address the following in this new Congress – return to a 40 work week rule, permanent repeal of the Excise/Cadillac tax, 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.
Any “fixes” to the ACA have had to begin anew in the new Congress. The chances of bi-partisan support on some issues remains skeptical at best at this point. Thankfully NAHU remains steadfast in moving these solutions forward. The “Cost” component to the budget still remains somewhat of an obstacle to permanent repeal of some of these issues. However, with Democrats now in charge in of the pertinent committees in the House, it may well be more 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.
Discussions have continued with appropriate members in the Indiana House and Senate to promote Section 1332 initiatives such as “risk pools and non-compliant ACA product offerings. Work on meeting with appropriate personnel in the Governor’s administration is in process.
All new guidance from D.C. will be a part of discussions. Any updates on such discussions will continue to be shared.
(Note: Democrats in the House on Capitol Hill have introduced plans to restrict any Section 1332 initiatives. While President Trump will not sign any such legislation, this could unfortunately impact future discussions on the local level.)
Work on possibly improving the recently passed STM bill is in process. Dwight “D” Hall met with Rep Martin Carbaugh earlier in May and further discussions are being planned.
The Session is over for the year. Working along with ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs and the various other industry partners was once again productive.
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 to report this month. Meetings will be set as needed.
FYI – The combined NAIFA/ISAHU Day On The Hill for next year has been set for Jan 21, 2020. Please mark your calendars.
The Legislative committee has 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 is being slightly updated and will hopefully be ready for distribution by the end of this month.
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!
Dwight “D” Hall
ISAHU Legislative Chair