By Dwight “D” Hall, ISAHU Legislative Chair
Happy Post Election folks! I’m sure that many of you are worn out from all the political ads – both for Federal and State offices. And it wasn’t nearly as brutal in IN as in many of the true battleground states on the Senate and Gubernatorial races. As it stands today –
Senate – GOP (at least) 53 with LA race to be determined Dec 6th – Democrats/Independents 46
House – GOP 246 (at least) out of 435.
Senate – GOP 40 – Democrats 10
House – GOP 71 – Democrats 29
How all this will play out in D.C. over next 2 months before the change over in Senate and then the next 2 years afterwards is going to be interesting to say the least.
As mentioned last month, there continued to be political events and fund raisers at both the State and Federal levels for the 2014 election cycle. It’s 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.
Some of the recent events attended are as follows:
- Hall and David Berman were guests of Bose Public Affairs at the October 15th GOP Fall Dinner at Union Station which featured Gov. Mike Pence as keynote speaker.
- Hall and David Berman attended a Congresswoman Susan Brooks’ fund raiser on October 16th in Fishers, IN.
On November 4th, D. Hall volunteered at the Polls for Congresswoman Susan Brooks.
- Hall also attended various post election gatherings after the elections.
By attending such “group” functions as described above, we are able to stretch both HUPAC and ISAHU-PAC dollars to the maximum.
There were also other opportunities where members of the Legislative Team attended or participated in local events felt important to ISAHU and the industry. It remains extremely important to be visible and engaged as an Association and we do our best to fulfill that challenge.
Please remember that our elected officials are always in need of hearing your concerns on healthcare (and other issues as well.). As I always try to mention, they are particularly 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 starts Nov 15th and hopefully everyone who wishes to participate on the Exchange (Marketplace) has completed their certification. I have heard that due to Grandfathered plans being canceled that there are numerous individuals in need of assistance in finding new ACA compliant plans for 1-1-15. Thus, the www.healthcare.gov site’s readiness is definitely going to be tested. HHS and CMS continue to advise that it will be a much smoother process.
We have mentioned before that 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 to move through the Senate especially before the election. It will be interesting 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
There continues to be no indication at this point that there will be any major health care issues planned for the coming Legislative Session. 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 and NAIFA. Updates will be provided as any information becomes known.
We are so blessed to have our NAHU staff as they are undoubtedly the absolute top folks in D.C. on healthcare issues and Congress relies on them on an ongoing basis. In addition, countless NAHU members around the State and Country 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. Most 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.
Again a special 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. If you’re not already contributing, please find forms either available in the newsletter on at the websites – www.inahu.org or www.nahu.org . 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 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.