Obama’s Supreme Court nominee may not be a friend to employers

March 16, 2016 0 COMMENTS

On March 16, President Barack Obama announced his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997 and has served as chief judge since 2013.

Battle lines over when confirmation hearings will be held were immediately drawn between Obama and Senate Republicans. If the nomination is considered by the Senate before the end of Obama’s second term, employers may be interested in understanding where Garland will likely come out on employment-related issues.

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Wisconsin Budget Bill Takes Tough Stance on Unions, Public Retirement Funds

February 18, 2011 4 COMMENTS

By Troy D. Thompson

On February 11, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker released details of his budget repair bill, a highly publicized measure directed at addressing the state’s budget crisis. Regardless of one’s political bent, there is no question that the bill, if adopted, will significantly change the landscape of public-sector employment in Wisconsin.

The bill takes a tough stance on collective bargaining, public pension funding, and public health insurance. Key union-related provisions of the bill would: read more…

Passage of Health Care Reform Will Change Game for Employers

March 22, 2010 6 COMMENTS

Updated Thursday, March 25, 2010

Since President Barack Obama signed part of an expansive health care reform package into law on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, employers should prepare for many changes to their health and benefits plans. The President signed the U.S. Senate’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590), which the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a 219-212 vote on March 21, 2010. On that same day, the House also passed the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872), a compromise reconciliation bill designed to provide a package of “fixes” to the Senate’s original bill. The total legislation package (the original Senate bill and the reconciliation bill) will have far-reaching effects on employers.

Audio Conference: Health Care Reform Is Here: Impact and Answers for Employers

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Employer-Related Changes in Democrats’ New Health Care Reform Compromise Bill

March 19, 2010 0 COMMENTS

Yesterday, congressional Democrats released the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872), a compromise bill designed to provide a package of “fixes” to the U.S. Senate’s original health care reform bill — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590). Similar to the original Senate bill, there are several provisions in the new reconciliation bill that would affect employers in many different ways.

Audio Conference: Health Care Reform Is Here: Impact and Answers for Employers offered April 22, May 6 and May 20

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Democrats Shooting for Passage of Health Care Reform This Weekend

March 18, 2010 1 COMMENTS

This week, Democrats have been moving full steam ahead toward passage of health care reform legislation that would affect employers in many ways. Since the Democrats lost their supermajority in the U.S. Senate, many of their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives want to pass the Senate’s version of health care reform so the Senate doesn’t have to vote on another bill and encounter an inevitable Republican filibuster. House Democrats, however, don’t like the Senate legislation in its current form and don’t want to pass it without also passing a package of “fixes.”

Audio Conference: Health Care Reform Is Here: Impact and Answers for Employers offered April 22, May 6 and May 20

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What Obama’s New Health Care Reform Proposal Means for Employers

February 22, 2010 1 COMMENTS

This morning, President Barack Obama released a health care reform proposal that “bridges the gap between the House and Senate bills.” The President released his proposal in advance of the upcoming televised health care summit on Thursday, February 25, and White House officials have noted that the proposal will serve as the starting point for the bipartisan summit.

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Republicans Block Controversial NLRB Nominee Craig Becker

February 10, 2010 0 COMMENTS

On Tuesday, U.S. Senate Republicans (along with two Democrats) used a filibuster to block Craig Becker’s nomination to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In a 52-33 vote, the Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to end the Senate debate on Becker’s nomination and move to a final vote. Senators Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) were the only Democrats to join the Republican filibuster.

In a public statement earlier in the week, Nelson announced that he would oppose Becker’s nomination and noted, “Mr. Becker’s previous statements strongly indicate that he would take an aggressive personal agenda to the NLRB, and that he would pursue a personal agenda there, rather than that of the Administration.”

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Despite Massachusetts Vote, Health Care Reform Still Coming (More Unpredictably)

January 20, 2010 4 COMMENTS

By Michael Leahy

With news of Republican Scott Brown’s victory in a special election held to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s term, many employers are wondering what the future holds for health care reform. The answer is, it’s still coming.

Last year, the Senate and House each passed their own health care reform bills with significant differences. Typically, the next step would be for the House and Senate to reconcile their two bills. Although Brown supports the 2006 Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act, he opposes both the House and Senate health care reform bills and is expected to become the crucial 41st Republican vote, enabling the minority party to filibuster any reconciled bill that comes before the Senate. Earlier Wednesday, the President announced that the Senate won’t rush to pass a reconciled bill before Brown is seated. However, despite reports to the contrary, health care reform clearly isn’t dead. Democrats are still weighing a number of options.

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White House, Organized Labor Reportedly Make Deal on ‘Cadillac’ Tax

January 15, 2010 0 COMMENTS

The White House reportedly reached a deal with organized labor on Thursday over the controversial “Cadillac” tax found in the U.S. Senate’s health care reform bill. The original provision in the Senate’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) creates a tax on employer-sponsored high-end “Cadillac” coverage. Under the original provision, the tax would have been 40 percent of the “excess benefit” of plans that exceed the thresholds of $8,500 for individual coverage and $23,000 for family coverage.

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Amended Senate Health Care Reform Bill: What It Means for Employers

December 30, 2009 1 COMMENTS

Employers are still trying to understand how the U.S. Senate’s Christmas present to the nation — a 2,074 page health care reform bill topped with a 383-page manager’s amendment — will affect them and their employees. (During a highly unusual Christmas Eve session, the Senate passed the bill in a 60-39 party-line vote.) Before the managers amendment was added, the bill was predicted to bury employers in paperwork. When Congress returns in January, members of both houses will work in a conference committee to iron out the differences in the health care reform bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. So, although we don’t know yet exactly what will be included in the bill that comes out of the conference committee, many predict that the Senate bill will be the backbone of the consolidated bill, and we already know it places many issues affecting employers on the table.

How does the manager’s amendment affect employers?
The manager’s amendment revises the original Senate health care reform bill to include the compromises and alterations that were required to obtain the 60 votes needed to pass the legislation.  Among other things, it affects employers by: read more…

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