March 23rd, President Trump issued an ultimatum to House GOP: vote and pass the American Health Care Act of 2017 or "Obamacare" will remain in place. Those talks failed to reach a consensus on the AHCA that would guarantee House Republicans had the numbers to pass the bill and forced House speaker Paul Ryan to delay the vote until Friday, March 24th. Whether the House passes the AHCA, Senate support will require significant changes.
The IRS published a response to an inquiry from an employee concerned that their employer’s third-party administrator (TPA) had informed all employees that it would no longer accept claims for cash reimbursement of transit funds after December 31, 2015 – meaning that employees would have to use a contribution-funded debit card to cover their mass transit expenses.
The Department of Labor's (DOL) final fiduciary rule, entitled “Definition of the Term ‘Fiduciary’; Conflict of Interest Rule – Retirement Investment Advice,” was published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2016, became effective on June 7, 2016, and had an applicability date of April 10, 2017. Likely however, the applicability date has been pushed back to June 9, 2017 and may be further delayed or overturned.
The house will vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) March 24th, but the bill's future is unclear. Could a final Senate ACA replace vote be delayed until after August recess? According to a House GOP member close to leadership, that is a definite possibility. "The way I see this going right now, we're probably going to head to the August recess with Obamacare," said the unnamed source in a recent Politico interview.
The evening of March 6th, the two House Committees with jurisdiction over the ACA repeal/replacement bill, the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, released separate Budget Reconciliation bills, titled the American Health Care Act, which would serve as a replacement for the ACA.
February 24th, Politico exposed a two-week old draft of ACA repeal legislation from House Republicans. Dated February 10th, the bill has likely already undergone revisions since this version, but nonetheless it does provide insight into the House Republican approach for ACA repeal and replace.
February 16th, House Republicans held a closed-door meeting to discuss their ACA replacement plan and identify the components that could be included in the budget reconciliation bill. At that meeting, an Obamacare Repeal and Replace Policy Brief and Resources document, authored by the Congressional Committees with jurisdiction over the healthcare reform process, was provided to House members.
February 9th, the confirmation process for Seema Verma to become the head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) began with a Senate Finance Committee hearing. Verma is a healthcare consultant from Indiana and worked closely with Vice-President Pence on Indiana’s H.I.P. 2.0 Medicaid program that was enacted while he was Governor.
February 9th, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), introduced the Health Savings Act of 2017 (S.403), and Rep. Eric Paulsen (R-3rd MN) introduced companion legislation. Like HSA legislation introduced by Sen. Hatch and Rep. Paulsen in previous Congresses, the bill includes top legislative priorities of the HSA industry.
Consumers refuse to accept the truth when it comes to their healthcare finances. Whether it is fear of the unknown, distrust of the industry, lack of interest or knowledge, the reality is that consumers aren't planning for their healthcare present and future.