Capitol Conference is finally upon us! Next week nearly 800 NAHU members from across the country will hold almost 500 meetings with their federal legislators. With major healthcare issues fresh in the minds of federal policymakers, including the recent passage of delays to several ACA taxes, the timing couldn’t be better to come to Washington, DC, and help shape the conversation by advocating for our priorities. NAHU will continue our efforts to lobby for market stabilization, advance our efforts to improve ongoing issues with employer-sponsored coverage like employer reporting requirements, remove broker commissions from the medical loss ratio, and continue our efforts to improve Medicare Advantage. If you aren’t yet registered for the conference, it is not too late: On-site registration is available!
For those of you headed to Capitol Conference, we encourage you to download the official Capitol Conference app in either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Look for it under “National Association of Health Underwriters.” The app will be listed under “Peritus Affinity Partners, LLC.” Please note, this is a new app from previous years and is not the “NAHU Events” or “NAHU Meetings” app.
Once you download and open the app, you will need to do a one-time profile setup. The app is free and is continually being updated with new information.
Once you open the app, follow these steps to complete the setup:
- Click on “New User Sign Up.”
- Enter the information required and submit.
- Once you have created your profile and logged in, scroll down to the last tab and select “Capitol Conference.”
- It will bring you to the Capitol Conference page where you will scroll down and select “Event Details.”
- This will take you to the full event app and add you to the “Attendees” list for the conference.
This app will allow you to have an interactive Capitol Conference experience.
A highlight of the week’s events includes:
Monday, February 26:
The meeting will kick off with an overview of NAHU’s policy priorities—the main issues that NAHU will be focused on across the health insurance industry from Medicare Advantage to individual market and small-group to large-group, and everywhere in between. NAHU members will also be able to directly ask questions to CEO Janet Trautwein, our federal lobbyists and members of the Legislative Council. Monday afternoon is filled with breakout sessions, including: The Many Faces of Single Payer; Breaking the Bonds of Commission; Level-Funded Plans for Small Employers; Healthcare 2020 Think Tank (exclusive for LPRT qualifiers); a special session on Medicare and our always-lively Compliance Corner Live! session. The day will conclude with the regional meetings. Attendees, this is where you will pick up your customized talking points for the congressional offices you will be visiting on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is critically important to attend your regional meeting.
Tuesday, February 27:
Tuesday’s general session kicks off with remarks by Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee, who will address the critical importance of the role of brokers in developing a strong individual marketplace. Following Peter Lee, political prognosticator Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report will give his predictions of the 2018 midterms and take your questions on the political environment. Later we will welcome Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), the leaders of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, to hear their proposal on improving the individual and employer markets, and we will close the general session with a special conversation with Allyson Schwartz of the Better Medicare Alliance on the ways NAHU is teaming up to improve Medicare Advantage.
After the general session lets out, it’s time to hit the Hill! The Capitol will be crisscrossed with more than 250 appointments on Tuesday afternoon, giving Congress a chance to hear about the value of agents and brokers firsthand. After a long day on the Hill, attendees are invited to head over to the Reserve Officers Building, just across the street from the Capitol, for the exclusive HUPAC Top of the Hill Reception. Nearly two-dozen members of Congress have confirmed their attendance at this event; have you? Online registration is closed, but tickets are still available for purchase at Capitol Conference. Simply visit the HUPAC booth in the sponsors lounge to purchase your ticket.
Wednesday, February 28:
The final day of the conference includes the presentation of this year’s winners of the Spirit of Independence Award, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), for their tireless work on bipartisan market-stability efforts. We also have a session on bending the healthcare cost curve led by Katy Spangler, who has been instrumental in leading near universal bipartisan support of market-based cost-containment measures and has been a leading voice on value-based insurance design. Representative Kurt Schrader will follow Katy Spangler. Schrader has been a champion of NAHU’s policy priorities, including sponsoring legislation to remove broker compensation from the medical loss ratio (MLR), co-sponsoring legislation to restore the 40-hour workweek, and sponsoring the bill that restored the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period that was ultimately passed and signed into law in 2016.
We will also hear from other NAHU champions, including Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN), who has led efforts on the 40-hour workweek, Representative Billy Long (R-MO), who has worked with Schrader on introducing the MLR legislation, and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), who has co-authored the Senate companion of the MLR bill. We will close the Wednesday general session with a special discussion between Christine Pollack and Annette Bechtold on the importance of preserving employer-sponsored coverage. Pollack has more than two decades of public and private-sector experience in advocating on behalf of employer issues, and Bechtold serves as the chair of NAHU’s Legislative Council. After that, it’s time again to hit the Hill for the remainder of your congressional appointments and close out another great year here in Washington.