State Legislative Update
HB 2114 – Protecting consumers from charges for out-of-network health services, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s (OIC) bill to end the practice of surprise billing.
Last week there was a meeting with Representatives Cody, Harris and Schmick and Senators Cleveland and Rivers and staff from OIC, where it was agreed on the following:
- They are committed to working this special session to pass this bill!
- They want it to include both emergency room situations and inpatient settings.
- They want it to be fairly balanced between providers and issuers, so that neither group is the winner OR the loser. (The consumers will be the winners!)
The bill is currently in House Rules, in the form in which it passed the floor of the House. The most likely course of action is for the bill to be brought back to the floor and taken back to second reading so that a new striking amendment can be added, but that could change.
Here is how you could help keep this bill moving right now:
Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 (or email) and leave a message for your State Senator and ask them to support HB 2114 and to pass it during this special session!
ACA Repeal Efforts Stall Again
From the Alliance for Retired Americans – Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House administration are trying again to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Desperate to repeal the ACA within the first 100 days of the Trump Administration, the House GOP leaders endorsed an amendment put forward by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) that would allow states to repeal several essential health benefits currently covered by the ACA and prohibit insurers from disqualifying people with pre-existing conditions. Among people ages 55 to 64, 84 percent had at least one pre-existing condition in 2014.
As of Friday morning, the bill did not yet have enough support to pass, but the leaders say they may bring it to a vote next week.
The bill allows insurance corporations to charge older customers five times more for the same policies as younger adults. It cuts $880 billion from Medicaid, which pays for long-term care for millions of Americans, and it weakens Medicare to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.
The amendment won over the majority of support from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, who originally did not support the GOP leadership’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) because they did not believe it did enough to repeal the ACA. However, the support of the Freedom Caucus may not be enough to make up for lost support among the Tuesday Group, a moderate group of Republicans that MacArthur chairs.
Republican leaders are pushing the bill forward and attempting to recruit additional support from moderates.
Health Care Vote
From the Alliance for Retired Americans – Please dial 1-866-828-4162 to be connected to your member of Congress’ office and tell them to vote NO on the AHCA.
The AHCA plan will increase premiums, eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, cut the life of Medicare, and do nothing to bring down the price of prescription drugs.
Make sure your voice is heard. Call 1-866-828-4162 and tell your Congress member to vote NO on the American Health Care Act.
As you can see, we have much work to do in the weeks and months ahead to continue the betterment of your retirement security. Your continued support and political action is a necessity!
Your Voice for Retirement Security!