By Dwight “D” Hall
Welcome to October and the beginning of Fall. Halloween is coming up and it might seem there are more “tricks” than “treats” coming at you as we enter 4th quarter and the Election season. But have hope as both will be over before you know it.
As I have noted before, several items remain on the legislative table in Washington, D.C. – AHP’s (Association Health Plans), Drug pricing, ACA risk adjustment payments, Navigator funds, MLR, etc continue under discussion and are in various stages of change/implementation as we speak. In addition, return to a 40 work week rule, Repeal/delay of the HIT tax and the Excise/Cadillac tax, allowance of COBRA as creditable coverage, changes to Medicare Advantage plans, employer reporting improvements and other initiatives are in the forefront of NAHU’s efforts in D.C.
As always, continued thanks goes to NAHU’s staff – eg, Janet Trautwein, John Greene, Chris Hartman and Marcy Buckner as they help direct the overall legislative process in D.C.
Other items –
Be sure to visit www.nahu.org for more detailed information on all NAHU Federal legislative activities.
State House Update
A meeting took place on October 17th between Senator Rodric Bray (future Senate pro tem) and Roger Skinner (ISAHU-PAC Chair), David Berman – (ISAHU-PAC Board member and ISAHU Legislative Committee member), D. Hall – (ISAHU Legislative Chair) and Trent Hahn – (Bose Public Affairs – ISAHU lobbyist). It was a combined introduction type meeting and an information sharing meeting on Section 1332.
Meetings are still in process of being set with other appropriate leaders in the Indiana House and Senate to discuss next steps on promoting Section 1332 . The discussions will relate to 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.
Elections will occur on Tuesday, November 6th which will impact all of the House and half of the Senate. The results will affect what type of legislative assistance ISAHU can expect during this next Session.
Also up for election are three of the Statewide offices – Secretary of State, Treasurer and Auditor. These too can affect the ISAHU working relationship with the Statehouse overall.
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.
Work continues on setting dates for meetings with House and Senate Insurance Committee Chairs and members to discuss Section 1332. Previous meetings on Section 1332 took place with the Insurance Commissioner which laid the ground work for such meetings. It is hoped that this will result in possible exemption filing by the Governor in the next Session. Updates will be provided as more is known.
The Legislative committee continues to identify specific individuals to be responsible for various product areas of the industry which should lead to better information sharing on an ongoing basis. This process should be completed by the end of the month.
As everyone knows, the Fall election season is in full swing. I encourage each of you to get involved at some level with both State and Federal office candidates. Let’s be a part of the solutions that are needed. If you’d like more information on how to go about this, please feel welcome to reach out at any time.
- Hall was part of a “Family and Friends” greeting event at the International Arrivals area of the Indy Airport on Friday, Oct 12th.
- Hall attended a GOP rally on Saturday, Oct 13th for Senate Candidate Mike Braun plus other State Offices – Kelly Mitchell – Treasurer, Connie Lawson – Secretary of State and Tara Klutz – Auditor. Time was spent with Representative Susan Brooks at the event.
- Hall attended a GOP Election Update event on Oct 13th and spent time with Congresswoman Susan Brooks, State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, State Senators – Jim Merritt and John Ruckelshaus, State Representative Candidate Paula Finch and other loal office holders and candidates.
- Hall attended the MRCC Fall Dinner at Union Station on October 18th. There was opportunity to speak with various State and Federal office holders.
Other such events are being scheduled between now and the upcoming election on November 6th.
Contributions were made by ISAHU-PAC recently to various Insurance Committee related legislators and some of the Indiana House and Senate Leadership this upcoming election.
NAHU staff continue to be a vital part of ongoing discussions during this 115th 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 improve the healthcare system for your clients and the general public!