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May 2, 2011
In This Issue
Congress Is Back To Deal With The Budget
House Will Attempt to Defund State Exchange Creation Grants This Week
Deficit Talks Could Impact Health Care Spending
PPACA Constitutional Challenge Update
Important Legal Ruling for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Plans
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Congress Is Back To Deal With The Budget

Both the House and the Senate are back today after a two-week recess, and the federal budget will once again be the focus of attention on Capitol Hill. Read More

House Will Attempt to Defund State Exchange Creation Grants This Week

The House Rules Committee will consider H.R. 1213 today, which would repeal mandatory funding for state-based health insurance exchanges created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The House will likely vote on the bill later in the week, and it is expected to pass. The bill is unlikely to advance in the Senate. Read More

Deficit Talks Could Impact Health Care Spending

The federal debt and deficit also are top of mind for members of Congress as the nation nears its statutory debt limit. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said that the nation will hit the debt limit by May 16 but that Treasury can take steps to avoid a default until July 8. These talks could have health care implications, as many of the deficit-limiting proposals and spending cuts being discussed involve government-related and PPACA health care spending programs. Republicans are pressing for limits on federal spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has suggested that Republicans might extend debate on the measure well beyond May 16. Read More

PPACA Constitutional Challenge Update

The United States Supreme Court won’t be ruling on the constitutionality of PPACA any time soon. Despite the Commonwealth of Virginia’s request that the high court expedite its case, on April 25, the Supreme Court denied Virginia’s request to bypass the appeals court. Read More

Important Legal Ruling for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Plans

In a decision filed April 11, the Southern District of Florida granted an employer health plan's motion for summary judgment in a case where the health plan's wellness program was charged with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The case, Seff v. Broward County, is important because it has never been clear whether wellness programs and health risk assessments that otherwise comply with the HIPAA wellness rules (particularly those that are mandatory or involve penalties) are also compliant with ADA. NAHU has long been concerned about an ADA provision that prohibits employers from imposing mandatory medical examinations and its possible application to wellness programs. Read More

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