Legislative Update from ISAHU

Federal Update

The ACA is officially on the new Congress’s agenda and numerous steps are being planned in the “repeal and replace” efforts.  As discussed previously, the actual timing of legislative changes will be an ongoing process as some things can be done via the reconciliation process in the Senate and others will need to follow the 60 vote cloture rules.  This will require at least 8 Democrats and all Republicans to support such measures. Note that the Senate has in fact passed a resolution to use the reconciliation process to initiate the repeal.  Stabilization of the market will be of utmost concern by all parties.  It is highly likely that this effort will be approached in “pieces” requiring numerous legislative actions.  Repeal of the “HIT Tax” and the “Cadillac Tax” are just two of the items to be addressed.

 

(An Operation Shout on the repeal of the Cadillac Tax came out on 1-10-17 and I’m hopeful that many members took action accordingly.)

 

NAHU’s own John Greene, Chris Hartman and March Buckner are all involved in meetings on the Hill to help direct the overall process.  Keep in mind that there will be some potentially polarizing actions, statements and arguments made by both parties as the process progresses.

 

Other items:

Hearings on Congressman Dr. Tom Price to head up HHS are in process.  Hearings for Indiana’s own Seema Verma who has been picked by President Elect Trump to be the Administrator at CMS are yet to be scheduled.  As noted last month, several of our ISAHU members have been in a working relationship with her over the years as she has spearheaded the HIP programs and Medicaid expansion here in IN.  We’re anxiously awaiting the opportunity to continue and further this relationship with her in her new role.

 

Please continue to look for Operation Shouts as they come out on various issues from the new administration.  And do respond as quickly as possible once you receive them.  These communications really do have an impact on the political process.  THANKS in advance to those of you who take the time to support such initiatives.

 

Be sure to visit www.nahu.org for more detailed information on all NAHU Federal legislative activities.

 

Capitol Conference Update
There are currently 25 members from IN registered for Cap Con.  David Berman is actively at work on the “binder” that is provided to each member that will outline all needed information to the attendees.  In addition, D. Hall is in process of establishing meeting dates and times for all IN legislators.

State House Update

As mentioned last month, the Republicans will continue to have super majorities in both the House ( 70 – 30) and Senate (41 – 9).  The Governor, Lt. Governor, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Attorney General are also Republican.  The agendas for all have now been basically outlined.  Road funding, PreK funding and combating the drug epidemic are maybe the three largest items to be addressed.

 

There are currently 10 specific Bills that have been filed in either the House or Senate that are worth watching from an industry standpoint.  An initial conference call with Trent Hahn of Bose Public Affairs has occurred and input from partners such as Anthem,  Encore, IU Health, etc is being obtained.   More information will be provided as more is known.

 

We are fortunate as an organization to have relationships with folks in the Governor’s office and down at the Statehouse that support our industry overall.  These relationships also directly impact the efforts of our ISAHU Lobbying firm – Bose Public Affairs, plus the efforts of our sister organizations – Big I, PIA, NAIFA, Insurance Institute,  IMA, IN Chamber and NFIB.  And lastly it also affects the ongoing efforts of several ISAHU members who continue to work on maintaining such working relationships with Legislators that may impact support for any legislation of assistance or detriment to the industry.

 

NAIFA-ISAHU Day On The Hill – Mar 8th

 

Once again this year, ISAHU is partnering with NAIFA for the Annual “Day On The Hill”.   It will be held at One America Auditorium in downtown Indianapolis as normal.  More information will be coming out to both NAIFA and ISAHU members shortly.  Please mark out the day on your calendar.  You may contact Dwight “D” Hall with any questions in the interim.

 

IDOI Update

 

There’s not much new to report at this point.  Efforts continue on possible refinement of the Small Business Definition – Bulletin 221.  Input on Bulletin 229 – Fees vs Commissions was previously supplied.  Discussions also continue on expansion of CE courses.  More information on these topics will continue to be supplied on an ongoing basis.

 

General Information

Dwight “D” Hall, David Berman, Susan Rider and Jennifer Revell all were invited to attend Congressional Swearing In Ceremonies out in Washington, D.C. on Jan 3rd.  They flew in the morning of the 3rd and back to Indy on the 4th.  While in D.C., they had the opportunity to visit with all IN elected officials in the House and Senate except for one Congressman.

 

This involved attending office open houses, lunches and evening receptions.  This allowed them to personally meet with Senator Todd Young, Freshman Congressman Jim Banks, Congresswoman Susan Brooks, Congressman Larry Bucshon, Congressman Andre Carson, Freshman Congressman Trey Hollingsworth, Congressman Todd Rokita, and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. They also visited the offices of Congressman Luke Messer and Senator Joe Donnelly where they met with their staff.

 

They also met with the staffs of all those elected officials mentioned above.  This will assist greatly in setting appointments for the upcoming Capitol Conference that runs February 12 – 15th in D.C.  In addition, this allows our elected official and their staff to put faces with names back here in IN.  This allows for better interactions on an ongoing basis.

 

And I believe it also worth mentioning that having such relationships assists our NAHU staff in D.C. in setting meetings when necessary to discuss issues on an ongoing basis.  One such meeting was set with Congresswoman Susan Brooks, NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein and VP of Congressional Affairs John Greene to discuss ACA strategy came about while we were there.  This all came from a discussion at the Congresswoman’s private reception the evening of the 3rd.

 

Our NAHU staff will be an integral part of ongoing discussions during the 115th Congress.  And they remain the recognized experts out there and continue to be the most sought after panelists in D.C. on healthcare issues. There is no question that they are the one’s that Congress and other Federal Agencies rely on for the most accurate and up to date information.  Their input into the new Administration will be vitally important for moving healthcare reform forward.  Please remember to THANK them whenever you have the opportunity.

 

And don’t forget  the importance of the countless NAHU members around IN and the Country as a whole that continuously put in long hours to ensure the best information possible is being shared with Legislators, HHS, CMS, IRS, DOL, DOI’s and of course other NAHU members.  As you know, much of this is always done in anonymity and solely for the benefit of the Association, our members and the general public.  So please THANK them every chance you have.

And as I always mention – ongoing THANKS to all the Local Legislative Chairs and those that serve on their committees.  Your service is vitally important and greatly appreciated.

PACs

And once again I have to mention our PAC’s.  The importance of our PAC’s – both HUPAC – our Federal PAC and ISAHU-PAC – our State PAC cannot be overstated.  Both of them play vital roles in supporting candidates that support NAHU and the industry as a whole.  Both PAC’s worked with various candidates at all levels and both enjoyed a tremendous level of success!  (For example, HUPAC had a 93% win rate on candidates supported in the Nov. 8th election.)

 

Please know that both PACS are truly bi-partisan as we strive to support those that support the industry on an ongoing basis.  Should you have any questions, please see your Local PAC Chair or any of us at the State level.  Both PAC’s support activities that really do make a difference in the ongoing legislative battles.  Information can be found on the www.HUPAC.org , www.nahu.org  and the www.ISAHU.org  sites.

Both PAC’s are on a calendar year basis each year.  So if you are not on a monthly contribution plan, please consider getting on one or making your 2017 contribution in your usual manner.

Northeast Indiana Association of Health Underwriters