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September 26, 2011
In This Issue
Decision Time for the Department of Justice on PPACA Legal Battle
Breaking News: Much-Anticipated Essential Benefits Report Set for October 7 Release Date
Government Shutdown Looms Over Spending Plan
Exchange Watch: Busy Week Ahead for HHS and Involved Stakeholders
More Bad Luck for the CLASS Act
Mini-Med Plan Waiver Program Surfacing New Questions
NAHU Unveils New Logo
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Decision Time for the Department of Justice on PPACA Legal Battle

Today marks an important deadline in the ongoing legal battle over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The Obama administration must decide whether it wants to directly ask the Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of its signature health reform legislation or whether it wants to pursue an en banc review from the full 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to review its prior decision striking down the law’s individual mandate requirement. The case in question is the challenge being made by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). It is the largest and highest profile challenge to the health reform law, which has now seen three circuit courts rule in three different ways on the issue. The Justice Department must file the necessary paperwork by close of business if it plans to pursue the en banc review of the 11th Circuit’s decision. Read More

Breaking News: Much-Anticipated Essential Benefits Report Set for October 7 Release Date

It was just confirmed this afternoon that the much-anticipated essential benefits report will be released on Friday, October 7. The announcement was confirmed by the Institute of Medicine, the group charged with undertaking a study that will ultimately result in recommendations on the criteria and methods for determining the essential health benefits package under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The October 7 release comes slightly behind of the IOM’s self-imposed deadline of the end of September. Read More

Government Shutdown Looms Over Spending Plan

For the third time in six months, Congress faces the prospect of a partial government shutdown if the Republican-led House and Democrat-controlled Senate fail to agree on a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund government operations by Friday (the end of the fiscal year). Read More

Exchange Watch: Busy Week Ahead for HHS and Involved Stakeholders

This week marks a looming deadline for interested stakeholders seeking to submit public comments for the first wave of exchange regulations released on July 11. The 75-day period for public comment is supposed to come to a close on Wednesday, but some doubts on the deadline have emerged. Steve Larsen, Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), told stakeholders at a California meeting last week that the administration might extend the comment period but could not say for certain at the time if the delay would happen. NAHU is planning to send extensive comments to HHS on behalf of our membership regardless of any potential deadline change. Read More

More Bad Luck for the CLASS Act

The CLASS Act faces more public scrutiny this week after an e-mail from HHS official Bob Yee was publicly circulated last Thursday morning which announced to colleagues he was leaving his position because the CLASS Act office was closing effective last Friday. Yee served as the HHS actuary overseeing the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act program established by PPACA to be an optional, government-backed, long-term care insurance program. The e-mail left the Obama administration fiercely denying reports of the program's demise, and a statement was released saying the CLASS office is cutting back on staff but not shutting down. Read More

Mini-Med Plan Waiver Program Surfacing New Questions

After issuing nearly 1,500 PPACA waivers for limited medical benefit plans, the Obama administration’s effort to alleviate some companies from complying with the burdens of PPACA is drawing to a close. The waivers, designed to assist companies who offer bare bones insurance plans to lower-income workers by exempting them from the PPACA annual limit requirements, are set to end in 2014. The deadline for applying to the waiver program expired last Friday but the actual waivers themselves can last until 2014. 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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