ISAHU Legislative Article for January 2020
Welcome to 2020 all and hope the year is off to a great start for you all!
The Speaker has now passed the two Articles of Impeachment on to the Senate for Trial. And the hearing process has begun. It is not yet known how long the process will take and what effect it will have on other legislative matters during the trial.
Regardless, 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!
HHS continues to pursue its plan to mandate pharmaceutical companies put the list prices for drugs in their television advertisements, despite legal challenges.
At the end of 2019, the House Ways and Means Committee shook up the balance-billing debate by announcing a plan to protect consumers from the practice just days after the House Energy and Commerce and Senate HELP Committees unveiled their plans. What’s next in the surprise-billing debate? Stay tuned but NAHU opposes arbitration due to its potential to add to higher costs of healthcare, particularly for self-insured plans and individuals enrolled in such coverage that would face the costs of arbitration passed on through higher premiums, co-pays, deductibles and other costs.
In November, a federal judge blocked President Trump’s attempt to require legal immigrants to obtain health insurance coverage in order to enter the United States. This month, the Administration is requesting that the appellate court lift the freeze on that mandate.
Registrations are available for this month’s member-exclusive “Live from NAHU” webinar, where we will preview the upcoming Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary and what to expect for “Super Tuesday” a month away.
Just a reminder – the House and Senate both passed the fiscal year 2020 spending bill and companion tax extenders measure in December which included a permanent repeal of three ACA taxes: the Cadillac Tax, medical device tax and Health Insurance Tax. President signed it almost immediately.
As mentioned last month, 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. Right now, there are twenty registrations from Indiana. You are encouraged to still consider signing up to go. Feel welcome to contact any of your Local Chapter leadership or any ISAHU Board member for additional information.
NAHU’s coalition opposing single payer and 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 also continues to work: COBRA as creditable coverage, Prescription Drug Transparency, plays 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 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, especially David Berman has been working with State Representatives Donna Schaibley and Ben Smaltz on a Surprise Billing legislation that is being promoted in the current Session.
Meetings have also been held with Representative Martin Carbaugh, Senator Mike Gaskill, Senator John Ruckelshaus and others and more are being planned to discuss various healthcare related bills that address such things as – Agent Commission declaration, Prescription Drug pricing, Medicaid Grants, Transparency, etc.
Bose Public Affairs (ISAHU lobbyist) has been assisting on all these issues as normal.
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.
Commissioner Steve Robertson spoke at the recent Day On The Hill event addressing goal of always working for the consumer as well as provided updates on NAIC initiatives and a meeting to be held in Indianapolis later this year.
Eighteen ISAHU members attended the NAIFA-ISAHU Day On The Hill held on January 21st at the One America auditorium. Speakers included Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Senator Mike Gaskill, Representative Martin Carbaugh, ISAHU Lobbyist Trent Hahn, Anthem’s Director of State Affairs – Logan Harrison and IDOI Commissioner Steve Robertson.
Lunch was served in the Rotunda at the Statehouse for attendees and several State Representatives and Senators which gave all a chance to have valuable discussions on various issues.
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.
Thanks for all you do to continue to improve the healthcare system for your clients and the general public!