What We Hear.

Recent articles and opinion pieces from national and trade media resources on the state of Healthcare in America.

  • AARP Foundation Sues Yale University Over Employee Wellness Program

    The class action suit alleges that the program, which involves workers undergoing certain medical examinations and divulging health info in lieu of a weekly fine, is a violation of the American with Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
    Yale’s Wellness Program Plan Guide »
    The Complaint »
    Med City News »

  • House Passes Bill to Repeal the Cadillac Tax

    The U.S. House of Representatives approved the “Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019,” which would fully repeal the “Cadillac Tax.” The strong bipartisan vote of 419 to 6 underscores both the importance and urgency of full repeal.
    Washington Post »
    Read the Bill here.

  • Injunction Against Contraceptive Regulation Upheld

    On July 12th the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary nationwide injunction against two rules to dramatically expand exemptions to the ACA’s contraceptive mandate based on religious or moral objections.
    Health Affairs »
    Read the Court’s decision here.

  • House is Set to Vote on Healthcare Cadillac Tax Repeal

    On Wednesday, July 17, 2019, the House plans to vote on legislation that would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s Cadillac tax. The 40% surcharge tax applies to certain high-cost employer healthcare plans.
    Roll Call »

  • Long-shot Legal Challenge Could End ACA During the 2020 Campaign

    A Trump-backed lawsuit could jeopardize healthcare coverage for more than 20 million people insured by the Affordable Care Act.
    Politico »

  • Surprise Medical Bills, Medicare for All and Other Healthcare Bills

    Obamacare battles threaten even the most bipartisan healthcare efforts on Capitol Hill.
    Washington Post »

  • 5 Key Questions about Washington State’s Public Option

    Work on the idea is facing a time crunch to get plans launched by the legislation’s 2021 start date.
    Politico »

  • Trump Now Says Replacing the ACA can Wait Until After the 2020 Election

    President Trump abruptly halted a push he began just last week to replace the Affordable Care Act. He said the issue will take center stage in his re-election campaign.
    Bloomberg »

  • Kaiser Brief Examines Implications of a Total ACA Strike Down

    The Kaiser Family Foundation considers the complex and far-reaching impact if the entire law is ultimately held to be invalid.
    Kaiser Family Foundation »

  • Trump Administration: Repeal Entire Affordable Care Act

    In a significant shift, the Trump Administration says the entirety of the Affordable Care Act should be struck down in the courts.
    NPR »

  • Indexing Provision in Proposed HHS Regulation Vulnerable to Legal Challenge

    The rule revises the methodology to index parameters of several ACA provisions.
    Brookings »

What We Know.

Webinars, articles and eAlerts with actionable information on the ACA and other current laws and regulations.

IRS Expands Preventive Care Benefits List for HSA Participants

07/17/2019 — The Internal Revenue Service has added care for a range of chronic conditions to the list of preventive care benefits that may be provided by a high deductible health plan (HDHP). Notice 2019-45 (PDF), posted on IRS.gov, lists the new types of medical care that may be treated as preventive care for this purpose.

IRS.gov »

Trump Administration Issues Executive Order on Healthcare Price Transparency

06/25/2019 — The Executive Order instructs the DOL, HHS and Treasury to issue guidance on surprise medical bills, high-deductible health plans, health savings accounts, and expenses related to direct primary care arrangements and healthcare sharing ministries.

Health Affairs »

Court Issues New Nationwide Injunction On Contraceptive Mandate

06/13/2019 — When considered in light of other recent court decisions, the injunction increases ambiguity about how employers with religious objections to birth control would comply with the ACA Contraceptive Coverage Mandate.
Health Affairs »
ACA Summary Judgment »

An Examination of the Current Status of State Individual Mandate Laws

06/13/2019 — Brookings Institution takes a closer look at each of the laws in the jurisdictions that have enacted them: New Jersey, Vermont, Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts.
Center for Health Policy at Brookings »

HHS Proposes Revising ACA Section 1557 Regulation to Clarify its Definition of Sex Discrimination and Narrow the Scope of Covered Entities

05/28/2019 — The Section 1557 regulation, released in July 2016, had extended the meaning of the term “sex” to include discrimination on the basis of “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy,” causing confusion among sponsors of health and welfare benefit plans. HHS has issued a proposed regulation to clarify this definition and to narrow the scope of entities subject to Section 1557’s requirements.
HHS Proposed Regulation »
HHS Fact Sheet »
HHS Press Release »

DOL Issues New Guidance on Association Health Plans

05/15/2019 — The guidance is in response to a recent court decision invalidating its recent rule on AHPs.
Health Affairs »

Washington is First State to Offer Public Health Option

05/15/2019Senate Bill 5526 creates the first public option health insurance product for the individual market in the United States.
Pepper Hamilton LLP »

HHS Issues Final Regs on Adjustment to Indexing Provision

04/25/2019 — Although aimed at insurers and state regulators, the regulations include provisions of interest to employers and benefits advisors.
Thomson Reuters »

Court Blocks New Rules Governing Association Health Plans (AHP)

03/28/2019 — U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled that President Trump’s AHP initiative, which was intended as a cheaper alternative to Obamacare, violates the ACA.
Bloomberg »

District Courts Block New Rules on Exemptions to ACA Birth Control Mandate

01/14/2019 — On January 14, 2019, a Pennsylvania federal district court judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking two recently-issued final regulations that had allowed for broader exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate. The judge’s decision came one day after a district court judge in California issued an order granting a preliminary injunction halting the same ACA regulations from taking effect in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

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