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December 19, 2011
In This Issue
NAHU Testifies Before Congress About the Dangers of the MLR
There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays—Unless You Are a Member of Congress
HHS Releases a “Pre-Rule Bulletin” on Essential Health Benefits
Mark Your Calendars: Supreme Court Schedules Oral Arguments for NFIB v. Sebelius
Don’t Think So, Michigan. You Too, Florida
Unlikely Bedfellows Wyden and Ryan Release Medicare Reform Plan
State Update Correction
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NAHU Testifies Before Congress About the Dangers of the MLR

The House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations held a hearing last Thursday entitled "New Medical Loss Ratios: Increasing Health Care Value or Just Eliminating Jobs?" Mitchell West, an insurance broker and owner of HealthChoiceOne in Greenwood Village, Colorado, did an outstanding job representing the National Association of Health Underwriters. Read More

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays—Unless You Are a Member of Congress

Guess who can’t leave for vacation because there is still work to be done? Why, that would be the entire U.S. Congress! Just as we predicted last week, despite their pledge to leave town last Friday, our friends in Congress are still in town, keeping the Washington health policy establishment entertained and occupied. Read More

HHS Releases a “Pre-Rule Bulletin” on Essential Health Benefits

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a “pre-rule bulletin” on the essential health benefit provisions of PPACA. The main focus of the measure was to establish that states will have to use a benchmark system to determine their essential benefit requirements. NAHU issued a statement on the bulletin, as did our essential benefits coalition.  Read More

Mark Your Calendars: Supreme Court Schedules Oral Arguments for NFIB v. Sebelius

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral arguments in the case of NFIB v. Sebelius from March 26-28, 2012. The Supreme Court had initially stated it would take two days to hear the case being brought by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the new health care reform law. However, the schedule released by the High Court this afternoon indicates that the justices will stretch the arguments over a three-day span. Read More

Don’t Think So, Michigan. You Too, Florida

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) have announced that two more states—Michigan and Florida—that have applied for individual health insurance market medical loss ratio adjustments will not receive them. Michigan’s adjustment request was submitted in July and rejected today, and Florida’s request was submitted last March and rejected last Thursday. Read More

Unlikely Bedfellows Wyden and Ryan Release Medicare Reform Plan

In a week with no shortage of health policy headlines, the GOP Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan (R-WI), made a few new ones last Thursday when he joined forces with liberal Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to release a new Medicare reform plan. The Ryan-Wyden plan would replace today's Medicare system with a defined contribution subsidy program. Seniors could use their subsidy dollars to choose from a wide menu of competing provide plan options, and the competition would help to control health care costs. Read More

State Update Correction

In the State Update sent on December 16, Colorado's information was in error. The correct information should read:

Colorado has a new pre-application for the individual market. Members in Colorado were able to mitigate the negatives to some extent in the final regulation, but this makes things more, not less, confusing for consumers and thus will be time consuming for brokers in the Colorado individual market.

We apologize for providing incorrect information.  Read More

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