Legislative Activity

Premium Subsidy Bill

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) will continue to drive legislation to undermine elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and advance “patient-centered systems” when Congress returns to session. The strategy will continue to unfold this fall and kicks off with the House taking up H.R. 2775 this week, a bill that would condition the provision of premium and cost-sharing subsidies upon a certification that a program to verify household income and other qualifications for such subsidies is operational. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduced the bill in response to concerns about accurate verification of premium subsidy eligibility.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Monday, September 9: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has scheduled a field hearing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on “A Matter of Life and Death: Examining Preventable Deaths, Patient-Safety Issues and Bonuses for VA Execs Who Oversaw Them.”
  • Tuesday, September 10: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on “PPACA Pulse Check: Part 2.” The Senate Committee on the Judiciary will also hold a hearing on “Conflicts Between State and Federal Marijuana Laws.”
  • Wednesday, September 11: The House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies has scheduled a hearing on “The Threat to Americans’ Personal Information: A Look into the Security and Reliability of the Health Exchange Data Hub.”
  • Wednesday, September 11: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs will hold a hearing on “Implementation Update: Fully Developed Claims.”
  • Thursday, September 12: The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging will hold a hearing on “Dental Crisis in America: The Need to Address Cost.”

Regulatory Activity

IRS Notices

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking on information reporting by applicable large employers on health insurance coverage offered under employer-sponsored plans. IRS also released a notice of proposed rulemaking on information reporting of minimum essential coverage. According to the notice, “[h]ealth insurance issuers, certain employers, and others that provide minimum essential coverage to individuals must report to the IRS information about the type and period of coverage and furnish related statements to covered individuals. These proposed regulations affect health insurance issuers, employers, governments, and other persons that provide minimum essential coverage to individuals.”

CMS Guidance

The Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Program Integrity: Exchange, SHOP, and Eligibility Appeals Final Rule. According to the notice, the “final rule outlines Exchange standards with respect to eligibility appeals, agents and brokers, privacy and security, issuer direct enrollment, and the handling of consumer cases. It also sets forth standards with respect to a State’s operation of the Exchange and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).” The rule generally finalizes previously proposed policies without change.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives. This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.


MedPAC Meeting

The Medicare Payment and Advisory Commission (MedPAC) will hold a public meeting on Thursday and Friday, September 12-13.