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January 17, 2012
In This Issue
Supreme Court Update
Thirty Days and Counting
New Regs Are Coming
Studies, Studies Everywhere
GOP To HHS—We Don’t Like Bulletins
This Week in Washington
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Supreme Court Update

The Supreme Court ruled today that the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) may add two plaintiffs to its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of PPACA. The original business owner that was the primary subject of NFIB v. Sebelius filed for bankruptcy last year, so there was some concern that without the addition of new plaintiffs, the NFIB’s grounds for filing suit could be questioned. The federal government did not oppose the addition of new plaintiffs in the case. Read More

Thirty Days and Counting

The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has deemed the medical loss ratio (MLR) adjustment requests submitted last year by both Wisconsin and North Carolina complete, which means that there should be a determination for those states within the next 30 days. Read More

New Regs Are Coming

HHS has sent two new important PPACA regulations over to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review in the last week. The regulation detailing how state-level PPACA waivers will be carried out was submitted last week, and today the final rule on PPACA’s summary of benefits requirements was referred there, too. Read More

Studies, Studies Everywhere

A number of new interesting reports and studies were issued last week, to the delight of health wonks everywhere. According to a new analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, health insurance premiums would rise by as much as 25 percent if the healthcare law is implemented without an individual mandate. Furthermore, the study found that removing the mandate from PPACA while still expanding Medicaid eligibility would decrease the number of people with private coverage by 3.6 million. Uncompensated care would increase by $20 billion. Read More

GOP To HHS—We Don’t Like Bulletins

HHS promised the states some guidance on PPACA’s essential benefit requirements before the end of 2011, and they delivered on the promise by releasing a “bulletin” in December with the promise of a real regulation at a later date. The legal status of the bulletin, which gives the states some flexibility in determining the benchmark standards for essential benefit requirements in their jurisdictions, was questioned almost immediately after it was issued. Since HHS normally doesn’t release bulletins, no one was sure if it was binding or not. Read More

This Week in Washington

We know you're busy getting ready to head to Washington for Capitol Conference, and your legislative leaders' schedules are no less full! Here's a look at what's happening in the nation's capitol. Read More

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