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April 4, 2011
In This Issue
Budget Showdown Dominates Capitol Hill
Always a Bridesmaid, But Maybe This Week A Bride?
Guidance on Health Benefit W-2 Reporting Issued
Much-Anticipated ACO Draft Regulation Released
First Report on Self-Funded Plans Released
This Week in Washington
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Budget Showdown Dominates Capitol Hill

Activity in Congress this week is expected to focus on a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2011, which ends on September 30. Media reports indicate that the administration, Senate Democrats and House Republicans have agreed to a deal to cut about $33 billion from the federal budget, including about $10 billion in cuts that already have been approved through previous CRs. However, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “There is no agreement on numbers. Nothing will be agreed to until everything is agreed to.” Read More

Always a Bridesmaid, But Maybe This Week A Bride?

Yes, we’ve said it before, but relief on the 1099 issue may actually happen this week. The Senate is scheduled to vote at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 5 on H.R. 4, the House-passed bill to repeal expanded 1099 reporting requirements included in PPACA. NAHU has supported the repeal of the 1099 requirements since legislation to that effect was first introduced last year. We have issued multiple public letters of support for this proposal, including one sent to Senate leaders last week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) decision to separate the 1099 vote from the debate on the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 is viewed as a means of moving the measure to President Obama’s desk more quickly. Read More

Guidance on Health Benefit W-2 Reporting Issued

On Tuesday, March 29, the IRS issued interim guidance to employers on the PPACA requirement to document on each employee’s Form W-2 the cost of their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. The IRS is also requesting comments on this interim guidance. The guidance makes it very clear that this reporting requirement is for informational purposes only and in no way impacts the federal income tax exclusion for the value of employer-sponsored health benefits. Read More

Much-Anticipated ACO Draft Regulation Released

On Thursday, March 31, the Obama administration released its proposed rules for the creation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) for the federal Medicare program. ACOs would be a group of providers like hospital systems, nursing homes, and individual physicians that would join together and form a medical team to take responsibility for all of the medical care needs of at least 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Teams that meet care affordability and quality goals will be eligible for federal monetary rewards. Read More

First Report on Self-Funded Plans Released

On March 30, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) released its first annual report on self-insured plans, as required by PPACA. The report uses data from the Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan (Form 5500), which many self-insured plans are required to file annually with DOL, as well as other financial information that self-insured plans are required to submit. Read More

This Week in Washington

In addition to the looming budget battle and the Senate vote on repealing the 1099 reporting provisions in PPACA, there are a few other key meetings this week that NAHU will be following with interest. Read More

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