It is that most wonderful time of year as we all celebrate the Holidays! Hopefully you all are able to enjoy this Special Time!
The House has passed two Articles of Impeachment on a strickly partisan basis with only Democrats supporting the measure. The Speaker has not yet passed the Articles on to the Senate for Trial so Washington is in a state of flux as this is written. The impact on other legislative matters after the Holiday break is yet to be seen.
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!
The House and Senate have both passed the fiscal year 2020 spending bill and companion tax extenders measure this past week which includes a permanent repeal of three ACA taxes: the Cadillac Tax, medical device tax and Health Insurance Tax.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its decision in the Texas v. United States case.
NAHU submitted a letter to House Ways & Means Chairman Neil and Energy & Commerce Chairman Pallone in regards to providing Medicare Part D beneficiaries with the same protections as those beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans under the recently restored Open Enrollment Period.
In addition, the House and Senate passed a funding bill to avert a government shutdown and President Trump has signed it.
As a reminder, applications are now being accepted for NAHU’s Legislative Achievement, Spirit of Freedom and Legislative Excellence awards. The deadline for applications is January 10.
Early-bird registration is now over for NAHU’s 30th Annual Capitol Conference, which will take place February 24-26, 2020. The price increased by $100 on December 5.
As reported last month, 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 sometime in 2020.
NAHU’s coalition opposing single payer, 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.
NAHU continues to take 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.
NAHU continues to work COBRA as creditable coverage, Prescription Drug Transparency, play a lead role in a coalition opposing Single-Payer proposals, return to a 40 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.
State House Update
Your ISAHU Legislative Team continues to develop and maintain relationships with appropriate Leadership, Committee Chairs and Committee Members.
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 Representatives Donna Schaibley and Ben Smaltz on a Surprise Billing legislation that will be promoted in the coming Session. Meetings are in process of being established.
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 HRCC Holiday Event at the Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis on December 16th. They were able to spend extensive time with outgoing Speaker Brian Bosma and his wife Cheryl, Representative Matt Lehman (discussed Surprise Billing), Representative Donna Schaibley (discussed Surprise Billing, etc.) as well other legislators and various industry lobbyists.
Reminder – FYI – The combined NAIFA/ISAHU Day On The Hill for next year has been set for Jan 21, 2020. Please mark your calendars.
Confirmed speakers so far are: Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Senator Mike Gaskill, ISAHU Lobbyist Trent Hahn and IDOI Commissioner Steve Robertson.
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.
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.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays to all and thanks for all you do to continue to improve the healthcare system for your clients and the general public!