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February 18, 2011
In This Issue
Capitol Conference Wrap-Up
Representative Price Sponsors Amendment to Budget Bill to Prevent Implementation of MLR Provisions
HHS Secretary Sebelius Testifies Before Congressional Committees
Administration Seeks Clarification on Vinson Ruling
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Capitol Conference Wrap-Up

NAHU's 21st Annual Capitol Conference kicked off with congressional speakers and representatives from the administration, as well as information-packed breakout sessions. On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) announced he would be filing legislation to exempt agent commissions from the MLR calculation in the coming weeks, and on Wednesday, Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), who voted for PPACA, showed his support for the agent and broker community when he declared, "agents are a value-add, not a cost-add."  Read More

Representative Price Sponsors Amendment to Budget Bill to Prevent Implementation of MLR Provisions

Georgia Representative Tom Price, M.D., proposed an amendment to H.R. 1, a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year, that would prevent the implementation and enforcement of the medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The Price Amendment, Amendment 409, is scheduled for 10 minutes of debate today. NAHU has issued a press release expressing our support for the amendment. Read More

HHS Secretary Sebelius Testifies Before Congressional Committees

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee this week following the release of the President’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget, with much of the focus on health reform. Republicans on the committee asked Secretary Sebelius to address a host of questions about provisions in the law, such as the CLASS Act, Medicare Advantage, the concerns of small businesses that must comply with the law, and the addition of millions of Medicaid enrollees at a time when state budgets are already severely strained. Read More

Administration Seeks Clarification on Vinson Ruling

Just over two weeks after Judge Roger Vinson ruled the individual mandate in PPACA illegal and therefore PPACA itself invalid, the U.S. Justice Department has issued a motion seeking clarification from the judge. Since the January 31 ruling did not issue a formal injunction, but instead what the judge deemed to be a “functional equivalent” of an injunction, there has been great confusion among lawyers for the federal government and those representing the 26 states engaged in the lawsuit as to whether the ruling requires the states to halt implementation of PPACA while the federal government appeals the decision. The motion also seeks clarification from Judge Vinson regarding whether a list of provisions already in effect, such as the small business tax credit, increased Medicare payments to providers, high risk pools and grants to states, should be suspended based on his ruling. Read More

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