Congress

House Votes to Repeal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

On July 11th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  The vote, which will undoubtedly fail in the U.S. Senate, is seen as
a symbolic effort on the part of the Republican Party to say, “The Supreme Court may have upheld it, but it’s still a bad law.”

The vote largely followed party lines, with 244 members voting for the repeal, and 185 members voting against the repeal.  All Republicans voted in favor of repeal, joined by five Democrats.   

Author: Michael Gomes

Waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court Decision: An Overview of Potential PPACA Outcomes

Last month, the United States’ highest court heard oral arguments on what has become the most controversial piece of legislation in recent history, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Many of us wait eagerly for a final decision, which is expected to be published in June. Some key background information is listed below to help put things in perspective.

Author: Michael Gomes

Day Three – U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on PPACA’s Missing Severability Clause

Yesterday morning the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the complex legal question of whether or not to strike down the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) if the Court finds part of the Act unconstitutional or otherwise illegal. This has become a major legal issue because Congress failed to include a “severability clause” in the final draft of the bill before it was signed into law.  

Author: Michael Gomes

Day One - U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on PPACA Tax Issue

On Monday, the highest court in the United States began hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Additional oral arguments are scheduled for today and tomorrow as well. 

Author: Michael Gomes

Obama Administration Defends Affordable Care Act in Opening Brief Filed with U.S. Supreme Court

On January 6, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), one of the most talked about pieces of legislation passed in recent memory. In addition, over a half dozen amicus curiae briefs have been filed since then by interested parties wanting to weigh in on the case.  Oral arguments on the merits of the new health care reform law are scheduled for late March. 

Author: Michael Gomes

U.S. Congressional House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Medical Loss Ratios – Concerns Expressed about Broker Role

Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations held a hearing on the issue of the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) in Washington, D.C. Titled “New Medical Loss Ratios: Increasing Health Care Value or Just Eliminating Jobs?,” the hearing was a forum for views on how the MLRs mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) could impact the health care insurance industry. Most individuals testifying expressed concerns about how the MLR formula as currently structured could greatly hinder the ability of brokers and agents to support consumers and business owners when purchasing health insurance.

Author: Bernard DiFiore

Additional Details on NAIC MLR Resolution While HHS Continues to Process State Waivers

Last week, BenefitMall reported on a hotly debated resolution adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to adjust the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) formula to recognize the role of professional health agents and brokers. (To read the blog, click here).

Author: Michael Gomes

NAIC Approves Resolution Calling for Changes to MLR

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has passed a resolution (26-20-5) to change health care reform laws related to Medical Loss Ratio. They are recommending that the Department of Human Health and Services (HHS) and Congress work to ensure that the role of professional health insurance agents remains a strong part of the healthcare process. The NAIC resolution strongly supports the need of agents to serve as consumer advocates in the process of securing health care coverage.

Author: Michael Gomes

PPACA’s Public Relations Challenge & Opportunity: Keeping Consumers Informed

When Congress was considering the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in the spring of 2010, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made this now-famous statement: “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."[1] Although many poked fun at Pelosi’s gaffe at the time, the reality is that she was right. We are still finding out what is in PPACA, even 18 months after its passage. Above all, the on-going regulatory process has perpetuated this journey.      

Author: Michael Gomes

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Rules PPACA's Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Unconstitutional: Decision Leads to a Split in Federal Appellate Courts

A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has declared the ‘individual mandate’ to purchase health insurance unconstitutional, which is a core element of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (PPACA). Two out of three judges found the mandate that forces individuals to purchase health insurance represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional expansion of the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

Author: Michael Gomes
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