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September 12, 2011
In This Issue
Jobs and the Federal Budget Deficit Dominate the Hill
Watch NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein Testify Live at the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Hearing Thursday, September 15!
Rejections, Submissions, Completeness, Oh My! Flurry of Activity on State MLR Waivers
4th Circuit Finally Rules on Commonwealth of Virginia and Liberty University Challenges to PPACA
Health Consolidation a Concern
HHS Requests Feedback on Basic Health Program
HHS Reaches Out to Agents and Brokers About the Small Business Tax Credit
This Week in Washington
Volunteers Needed for NAHU Professional Exchange Certification Committee
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Jobs and the Federal Budget Deficit Dominate the Hill

Congress’ first week back from its August recess was full of activity focusing on both jobs and the federal budget deficit. Last Thursday brought both a speech from President Obama on his jobs proposal and the first meeting of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka the Supercommittee). This week we expect to see President Obama’s draft jobs bill delivered to Capitol Hill and the Supercommittee will hold its first hearing, with Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Doug Elmendorf as the sole witness. Read More

Watch NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein Testify Live at the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Hearing Thursday, September 15!

NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein will be testifying Thursday at the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health hearing. The hearing, entitled “Cutting the Red Tape: Saving Jobs from PPACA’s Harmful Regulations,” serves as an extension of the subcommittee’s June hearing that examined the impact of major rules issued by the Department of Health and Human Services implementing PPACA and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including the MLR requirements. Read More

Rejections, Submissions, Completeness, Oh My! Flurry of Activity on State MLR Waivers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has had its hands full this past week with state-level requests for adjustments to their PPACA MLR requirements. The agency announced today that they have rejected Delaware's request for an individual market MLR waiver. Delaware is the second state to receive an outright denial after North Dakota's denial in July. The state had been seeking an MLR adjustment to 65 percent in 2011, 70 percent in 2012, and 75 percent in 2013. Read More

4th Circuit Finally Rules on Commonwealth of Virginia and Liberty University Challenges to PPACA

The federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued rulings rejecting two challenges to PPACA last Thursday, one filed by the Commonwealth of Virginia and one brought by Liberty University. Read More

Health Consolidation a Concern

Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on consolidation in the health care industry, and committee Republicans and Democrats alike expressed concern about the growing impact health care mergers and acquisitions can have on driving up medical prices. Read More

HHS Requests Feedback on Basic Health Program

On Friday, HHS issued a request for information to gather feedback to be used when writing the regulations for the Basic Health Program. The program, created by PPACA, allows states the option to create a separate government program in 2014 or later to provide health coverage to residents who make up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level but exceed the income limitations for Medicaid coverage. Read More

HHS Reaches Out to Agents and Brokers About the Small Business Tax Credit

HHS and the Department of the Treasury are reaching out to health insurance agents and brokers, hoping that they will help more small business owner clients take advantage of the small business tax credit created by PPACA. Read More

This Week in Washington
The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing on repeal of the MLR and grandfather regulations issues under PPACA on Thursday, September 15 at 10 a.m. EDT. The hearing is entitled “Cutting the Red Tape: Saving Jobs from PPACA’s Harmful Regulations.” Witnesses at the hearing will include NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein, Galen Institute President Grace Marie Turner, Ed Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation and Steve Larsen of HHS. Read More
Volunteers Needed for NAHU Professional Exchange Certification Committee

NAHU’s Legislative Council and Professional Development Committee will be teaming up in the next year to develop model coursework for states to use in developing a certification program for individuals to help assist consumers with purchasing and servicing qualified health plans offered through state-based health insurance exchanges. Read More

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