Obama unveils compromise on health reform contraception rule

February 01, 2013 0 COMMENTS

The Obama administration released a compromise plan February 1 on how contraception is covered under the healthcare reform law, but it’s not clear whether foes of the original requirement will approve.

Under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, contraception is included as a free preventive service. The original rule exempted religious groups that employ mostly people of their own faith, but groups such as religious universities and Catholic hospitals weren’t included in the exemption.

read more…

HHS relaxes state insurance exchange decision deadlines

November 12, 2012 0 COMMENTS

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires states to establish health insurance exchanges to provide individuals and small employers with access to affordable insurance coverage beginning January 1, 2014. States have the flexibility to design and operate exchanges that best meet their needs while complying with the ACA’s statutory and regulatory standards. A state that chooses to establish its own exchange or participate in a partnership model must complete and submit an exchange blueprint that documents how it will meet all the legal and operational standards. A state also must demonstrate operational readiness to carry out exchange activities as part of its exchange blueprint.

Decisions on whether to establish a state exchange and blueprint submissions are due to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by November 16, 2012. Although states still must inform the HHS if they plan to establish an exchange by that date, the agency has extended the date for submitting blueprints to December 14, 2012. If those deadlines aren’t met, the HHS will implement a federally facilitated exchange for the states and perform exchange activities.

read more…

Up to $3,000 in Monthly Premiums! Why Long-Term-Care Insurance Plan Failed

October 20, 2011 0 COMMENTS

The Obama administration’s health care reform legislation suffered an apparent casualty last week when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indicated it wouldn’t pursue implementation of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program (also known as the CLASS Act). In a letter to the U.S. Congress about the CLASS Act, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated that she did “not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.” Sebelius came to this conclusion after the HHS reviewed a comprehensive analysis of the CLASS program.

The CLASS Act was a part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that was designed to create better long-term-care insurance options for individuals. According to the law, all CLASS benefits had to be completely funded through enrollee premiums without any taxpayer subsidy. The legislation also mandated that the program must be actuarially sound and financially solvent for 75 years.

read more…

Appeals Court Holds Part of Health Care Reform Law Unconstitutional

August 17, 2011 2 COMMENTS

On Friday, August 12, the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta held 2-1 that the individual health insurance mandate provision found in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the comprehensive health care reform legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010, is unconstitutional. More specifically, the court found that the individual mandate, which would require most individuals to obtain health insurance or pay a fine, exceeded the power of the U.S. Congress under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

According to the majority opinion, “this economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives.”

read more…

Departments Issue PPACA Regulations on Waivers for State Innovation

March 15, 2011 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury recently issued proposed new regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that outline the steps states must take to acquire Waivers for State Innovation. Under the PPACA, in 2017, states will be able to ask for such waivers to allow them to come up with their own ways to improve health care and offer comparable coverage.

While addressing the National Governors Association, President Barack Obama recently endorsed legislation that would allow states to begin asking for Waivers for State Innovation in 2014 when important parts of the PPACA go into effect. The bill would allow states to opt out of certain controversial provisions such as the individual mandate and the employer coverage requirement as long as they could prove that their alternative meets the PPACA’s objectives.

read more…

Senate Votes Down Health Care Reform Repeal Legislation

February 03, 2011 0 COMMENTS

On Wednesday, February 2, the U.S. Senate voted 51-47 against a largely symbolic amendment that would repeal the health care reform legislation enacted last year. (The amendment was to an unrelated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding bill.) Senate Republicans unanimously backed the amendment, which would have repealed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), but no Democrats voted in favor of the measure.

Even if the Senate had approved the repeal amendment, it was unlikely to move much further since President Barack Obama had previously indicated that he would veto it. The Senate did, however, pass another amendment to the FAA bill that would repeal a tax-reporting provision found in the PPACA by an 81-17 vote.

read more…

Second Court Rules Health Care Reform Law Is Unconstitutional

February 01, 2011 1 COMMENTS

Monday, January, 31, another federal court — the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida — held that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is unconstitutional. More specifically, the court held that the individual health insurance mandate provision found in the PPACA, which would require most individuals to obtain health insurance or pay a fine, is unconstitutional, and since it can’t be severed from the PPACA as a whole, “the entire Act must be declared void.”

In reaching the decision, the court first addressed whether the individual mandate was an appropriate exercise of power under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court determined that “activity” is required before the U.S. Congress can exercise its power under the clause and that the failure to buy health insurance isn’t “activity” but “inactivity.” The court noted, “To now hold that Congress may regulate the so-called ‘economic decision’ to not purchase a product or service in anticipation of future consumption is a ‘bridge too far.’ It is without logical limitation and far exceeds the existing legal boundaries established by Supreme Court precedent.”

read more…

House Passes Health Care Reform Repeal Legislation

January 20, 2011 3 COMMENTS

On Wednesday, January 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act (H.R. 2), a largely symbolic bill that would repeal the health care reform legislation enacted last year, in a 245-189 vote.

The new legislation, backed unanimously by House Republicans, would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The bill was largely approved along party lines with all 242 Republicans and only three Democrats voting in favor of the measure.

read more…

EBSA Web Chat Discusses Upcoming Regulatory Agenda

January 05, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Tuesday, January 4, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) hosted a live Q&A Web chat to discuss its regulatory priorities for the next several months and to answer questions. Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary for EBSA, started the session by stating that the focus of the chat would be on EBSA’s pension initiatives that appear in the agency’s recent Semiannual Regulatory Agenda instead of on the regulations implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Borzi indicated that EBSA is planning to focus on initiatives related to fee transparency, welfare plans, and “lifetime income.” More specifically, she noted that EBSA would work on: read more…

Federal Court Rules Health Care Reform Provision Unconstitutional

December 14, 2010 1 COMMENTS

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held that the individual health insurance mandate provision found in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the comprehensive health care reform legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010, is unconstitutional. The individual mandate would require most individuals to obtain health insurance or pay a fine.

The court’s ruling doesn’t invalidate the PPACA as a whole since the court determined that the individual mandate provision and “directly dependent provisions” are severable from the rest of the PPACA. The court also didn’t invalidate the entire law because that particular provision won’t go into effect until 2014.

read more…

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »