Democrats

U.S. Supreme Court Gets Ready to Review Legality of PPACA as Qualifications of Two Justices Questioned: Full Court Likely to Hear Case

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court denied a motion by Freedom Watch arguing that Justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from hearing the upcoming challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The law, often referred to as the “Affordable Care Act,” will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court later this year. 

Author: Michael Gomes

U.S. Supreme Court Likely to Review Legality of PPACA

Sometime next year, it is highly probable the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the federal government can force people to buy health insurance or pay a fine.

In addition to the landmark impact this ruling will have on the health care industry specifically, it also could sway the outcome of the 2012 elections -- from the Oval Office to other key legislative positions around the country. No matter what, the stakes are high. Even if the issue escapes scrutiny by the Supreme Court in 2012, it’s possible that when the Justices do address the merits of the case that a Republican administration will be in the White House – along with a Justice Department that no longer will defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Author: Bernard DiFiore

Congressional Outlook: Financial Issues Dominate Key Policy Discussions on the Hill

Battles continue to rage between House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the Obama Administration on a variety of financial and health care issues. As always, BenefitMall pledges to keep you up-to-date on the latest topics affecting the healthcare industry. Here are some brief snapshots of what is just around the corner.[1]

The Looming Debt Crisis

The U.S. debt reached the maximum allowed debt level on May 16, stretching to the ceiling of $14.3 trillion.[2] Both parties have been unable to reach an agreement to address the debt and federal spending problems, forcing the Department of Treasury (DOT) to take “extraordinary measures” by suspending the issuance of new debt and tapping two federal employee pension funds.[3] According to DOT, this will allow the government to continue functioning until August 2 when the tapped pension funds will be depleted.[4] Despite current grandstanding by all parties involved, a compromise must be reached by that date or the government will face another threat of shutdown.

Author: Bernard DiFiore

Congressional Outlook: Financial Issues Dominate Key Policy Discussions on the Hill

Battles continue to rage between House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the Obama Administration on a variety of financial and health care issues. As always, BenefitMall pledges to keep you up-to-date on the latest topics affecting the healthcare industry. Here are some brief snapshots of what is just around the corner.[1]

The Looming Debt Crisis

The U.S. debt reached the maximum allowed debt level on May 16, stretching to the ceiling of $14.3 trillion.[2] Both parties have been unable to reach an agreement to address the debt and federal spending problems, forcing the Department of Treasury (DOT) to take “extraordinary measures” by suspending the issuance of new debt and tapping two federal employee pension funds.[3] According to DOT, this will allow the government to continue functioning until August 2 when the tapped pension funds will be depleted.[4] Despite current grandstanding by all parties involved, a compromise must be reached by that date or the government will face another threat of shutdown.

Author: Bernard DiFiore

House Passes Budget and Attempts to Defund Parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed aggressive legislation over the past several weeks that address the 2011 budget. With over 500 amendments[1] introduced via the spending measure, House Republicans and Democrats are engaged in a showdown over the budget.  The new Republican majority is taking advantage of the current budgeting process as a way to defund certain programs under the new healthcare reform law and cut wasteful government spending.

House Republican Actions

Author: Michael Gomes

Health Care Reform Update: Fighting Health Care Fraud

No matter who is in control of the White House or Congress, one bipartisan activity that will continue in the coming years is the fight against health care fraud.  Both Democratic and Republican Administrations have supported a number of anti-fraud programs to identify criminal activities that hurt consumers and cost U.S. taxpayers dearly.   

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the launch of another round of initiatives to fight health care fraud, including hosting fraud summits in several cities.  A HHS press release published on November 5th explains “(t)he summits are part of a larger effort on behalf of the Obama Administration to root-out waste, fraud, and abuse within the U.S. health care system.”  In 2009, HHS reports that “anti-fraud efforts put $2.51 billion back in the Medicare Trust Fund resulting from civil recoveries, fines in criminal matters, and administrative recoveries.”

Author: Scott Kirksey

Establishing the Right Health Care Equilibrium

With all the hoopla this week about the Congressional lame duck session and anticipation over the 112nd Congress that convenes in January 2011, this is an ideal time to reflect on the recent enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) and how we can ensure a stable U.S. health care system in the future.    

A key philosophical debate between Republicans, Democrats and other stakeholder groups is whether the government or the private sector is in the best position to help fix the U.S. health care system.  Of course, most agree this is not an “either/or” situation – both segments have an important role to play.  Unfortunately, the new federal healthcare reform law is dependent on building more government infrastructure than relying on private sector initiatives. 

Author: Michael Gomes

Correction: Republican Gains Will Likely Impact How Health Care Reform Is Implemented; But Repeal Unlikely

Regarding yesterday’s post, BenefitMall incorrectly posted the newly-elected Republican Governor of Florida. We have updated the information on the blog to show the correct name of the Republican Governor, Rick Scott.

Further, the previously mentioned Marc Rubio of Florida, who is part of the Tea Party movement, will be an addition to the conservative Republican Senators insuring the Senate Democratic leadership will have a more difficult time picking up Republican support to pass any controversial legislation similar to what happened last spring with healthcare reform.  With 39 year-old Rubio’s convincing win in Florida, rumors already are spreading that he might be a contender to run for the U.S. Presidency one day.  He will be one of many new Congressional members worth watching over the next several years. 

We apologize for the any confusion related to our earlier post.

Author: BenefitMall

Republican Gains Will Likely Impact How Health Care Reform Is Implemented; But Repeal Unlikely

During the last few months, the Republican Party has made opposition to President’s Obama’s health care overhaul a central theme in its push to take back the U.S. Congress. While not all of the election returns are final, based on November 2 initial results, change is definitely in the air. 

Clearly, some recent headlines are hard to ignore such as “Republicans take over the U.S. House of Representatives” or “Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) loses bid for reelection to Republican Ron Johnson.”   Several other democratic veterans also lost their jobs last night. 

State Action

Yet behind the headlines, the fate of health care reform may actually depend more on the outcome of relatively less well-known state races across the country – especially for the offices filled by state insurance commissioners and state legislators.    

Author: Michael Gomes

Town Hall Meeting on Medicare

Once again, President Obama hosted a town hall meeting to discuss health care reform. This time it was held at a Senior Center in Maryland, with most of the focus being placed on the changes in Medicare.

As mid-term elections approach, President Obama was looking to shift focus away from the oil spill and place it on health reform and its positive aspects.

The televised town hall meeting focused on the $250 check Medicare recipients will receive to help cover some of the “doughnut hole” gap in prescription drug coverage, which will reach about 80,000 people in the first round. Other initiatives mentioned included efforts to combat scams aimed at the elderly and to cut waste and fraud from Medicare by the end of 2012, just two years away.

Author: Bernard DiFiore
Syndicate content

About BenefitMall

Healthcare Exchange is powered by BenefitMall and designed to serve as a platform for exchanging ideas and finding solutions for healthcare reform. Learn More

At BenefitMall, we have an all together better way of doing business. Working with a network of more than 20,000 Trusted Advisors, Brokers and CPAs, we deliver integrated employee benefits and payroll services to businesses nationwide.