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September 20, 2011
In This Issue
President Obama’s Deficit Reduction Proposal Released
Jobs Bill Would Cap Employer Exclusion and HRA/HSA Deductions
HHS Tells States: Come “Partner” With Us on Exchanges
NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein Testifies Before Congress on MLR
New Census Numbers Released: Number of Uninsured Rises
CLASS Act Under Fire: Congressional Working Group Investigates its Untold Story
NAHU Unveils New Logo
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President Obama’s Deficit Reduction Proposal Released

President Obama publicly released his deficit reduction proposal yesterday, which includes changes to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as significant tax increases for the wealthiest of Americans, but does not include changes to Social Security. His current plan also does not include a change to the Medicare beneficiary age, but he has stated he will support such a change in 2017 if the GOP agrees to compromise on tax increases. Read More

Jobs Bill Would Cap Employer Exclusion and HRA/HSA Deductions

The release of President a Obama’s deficit reduction plan comes just a week after the President submitted to Congress the actual text of his proposed jobs legislation. Read More

HHS Tells States: Come “Partner” With Us on Exchanges

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released details yesterday as to how it plans to “partner” with states on exchange development. Called the Affordable Insurance Exchange “Partnership Options” Opportunities initiative, the administration’s plan is that it will give states new choices to consider as they plan their exchanges for 2014. HHS believes that while some states may choose to fully operate their own exchange, others might wish to perform some functions and let the federal government perform others for them. Read More

NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein Testifies Before Congress on MLR

NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein was called to testify last week before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Her writtern testimony can be read here, and highlights from the hearing can be viewed here. The hearing focused on the harmful impact PPACA regulations are having on American jobs, specifically those relating to the medical loss ratio (MLR) and grandfathered plan provisions. Janet updated the committee on the adverse impact of MLR on health insurance producers across the country and called for immediate action on H.R. 1206, The Access to Professional Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2011. Read More

New Census Numbers Released: Number of Uninsured Rises

New figures released last Tuesday by the Census Bureau illustrate that the number of Americans without health insurance coverage continues to rise. The annual report, “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States,” found that the total number of uninsured climbed to 49.9 million or 16.3 percent of Americans. This figure increased by 919,000, up from 16.1 percent in 2009. Interestingly many analysts have noted that this uninsured rate nearly matches the August total unemployment rate—including discouraged workers who have left the workforce and part-time workers who cannot find full-time employment—of 16.2 percent. Read More

CLASS Act Under Fire: Congressional Working Group Investigates its Untold Story

The bicameral Repeal CLASS Working Group released a detailed report last Thursday charging HHS with suppressing information on the unsustainable nature of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act from congressional leaders and the American public prior to the passage of PPACA. The CLASS Act was established through PPACA to be an optional, government-backed, long-term care insurance program that requires a five-year vesting period before subscribers can collect benefits. Because of this vesting period, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that in its first 10 years, $70 billion in deficit reductions would occur as a result. These estimated savings were crucial to securing support for—and ultimately passage of--health care reform legislation. Read More

NAHU Unveils New Logo

NAHU is excited to announce a new logo. With overwhelming approval from the national board, this is the first major change to the logo in nearly 30 years. The new logo reflects both the evolution of our association and the transformative changes occurring in the health insurance industry. Read More

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