ISAHU Legislative Article for November 2019
Well I hope all enjoyed the seemingly “one day” of FALL! Halloween has come and gone. Some are dealing with early snow accumulation and Thanksgiving is now upon us. It’s definitely an interesting November. And while many of us here are dealing with the weather, thank goodness for our D.C. staff working for all of us 24/7 out there!
NAHU remains extremely active on Capitol Hill and in the White House. Examples are:
The Trump Administration proposed new transparency mandates for insurers and group health plans, and released its hospital transparency final rule, incorporating feedback from comments submitted by NAHU.
CMS released new resources for brokers to assist consumers with the expanded rules on health reimbursement arrangements and to assist consumers with complex cases through the federal marketplace.
In addition, the House and Senate are in session and are working on legislation to avert a government shutdown, with current funding due to lapse next Wednesday.
Applications are now being accepted for NAHU’s Legislative Achievement, Spirit of Freedom and Legislative Excellence awards. The deadline for applications is January 10.
As identified last month, early-bird registration is now available for NAHU’s 30th Annual Capitol Conference, which will take place February 24-26, 2020. Prices increase by $100 on December 5.
NAHU also continues working with the Coalition Against Surprise Billing in ongoing efforts to bring this legislation to fruition. It is hoped the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a markup hearing in the coming weeks on surprise-billing legislation. It will also need to be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee, with a final package expected by this fall.
Political TV debates also continue and NAHU’s coalition opposing single payer, the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, advertised recently at Democratic presidential debate through both television and digital media, underscoring the perils of adopting a single-payer or Medicare-for-All type plan.
NAHU is currently taking enrollments for the new Single-Payer Certification Course to educate health insurance professionals on comparative single-payer systems and ongoing proposals in the U.S. The course has been filed for continuing education credits in all states and discount pricing will be available to NAHU members who enroll before the end of the year.
The Senate is now considering HR 748 which fully repeals the Cadillac Tax. It is hoped it will be brought to the floor for a vote soon now that Recesses are over. President Trump is expected to sign it when it reaches his desk.
NAHU continues to work COBRA as creditable coverage, repeal of the HIT Tax, Prescription Drug Transparency, play 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.
However, as mentioned previously, it still appears that Democrats in charge in of the pertinent committees in the House are making it difficult to bring such items to the floor for a vote.
There is still talk in the Trump Administration about a “phenomenal new healthcare plan” that may yet be released this year that would overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.
State House Update
Your ISAHU Legislative Team continues to develop and maintain relationships with appropriate Leadership, Committee Chairs and Committee Members.
Speaker of the House – Brian Bosma has announced his retirement after the upcoming Session is over. He’s the longest serving Speaker in IN history and it will be very interesting to see who replaces him.
As reported each month, discussions continue 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 also continues on setting up appropriate meetings with appropriate personnel in the Governor’s administration as needed. All new guidance from D.C. will be a part of discussions. Any updates on such discussions will continue to be shared.
(Note: as a reminder, 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.)
The ISAHU Legislative Committee will be working with State Representative Donna Schaibley on a couple of pieces of legislation that she will promoting in the coming Session. Discussions have not yet taken place.
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.
Susan Rider and Dwight “D” Hall attended the Indiana Chamber’s Legislative Preview at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis on November 18th. We had the opportunity to speak extensively with State Senator John Ruckelshaus, various industry lobbyists and many Indiana Chamber personnel.
Of interest, the Chamber will be pursuing legislation to decrease the State’s vaping and smoking rates. Also, they will be addressing health care pricing transparency.
Reminder – 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 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 is still being slightly updated and should be ready for distribution next 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 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 general public!
Dwight “D” Hall
ISAHU Legislative Chair