Fresh from the Capital Conference in Washington D.C., this issue of the Sentinel is dedicated to the legislative work done on behalf of the SAHU members and the health insurance industry. Four SAHU board members and three other SAHU members joined 800 NAHU members from around the country to spend four days lobbying on your behalf with legislators and committee chairs. In May you’ll have the opportunity to do the same work on the state level. Here’s a capsule of the issues facing our membership today.
Armstrong & Associates
SAHU Legislative Chair
Per the testimony of NAHU, late last year the National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommended to HHS that broker compensation be removed from MLR calculations. This was the main focus of NAHU last year and was a huge win. Then HHS blatantly ignored the NAIC resolution and left our commission in there. That’s bad.
Plan B: Invoke an act of Congress. NAHU had already introduced a bill to the House (HR 1206, Rogers) that removes broker commission from the MLR calculations and had about 140 bipartisan cosponsors at the end of last year.
Seven SAHU members just returned from the NAHU Capitol Conference in Washington, D.C. in late January where there were about 800 in attendance. We met at length with all of our Congress representatives to push HR 1206 and pitch the invaluable role of brokers and agents. The energy level was high since the State of the Union occurred while we were there and Speaker Boehner spoke to us the day after. We are pleased to announce that NAHU agents got at least 2 dozen more House members to cosponsor HR 1206, bringing the total cosponsors to about 160-170. This is very good news as we can now force the Bill to the floor where we would only need 218 votes for passage.
Furthermore, we got bipartisan authorship of a Senate companion bill. This is a MAJOR step in a Democrat controlled Senate. Whether Republicans take a Senate majority in November or not, having bipartisan authorship on our Bill is very hopeful indeed. This is good.
Dave Fear, Sr.
Dave Fear, Jr.
Please save the date for our Day at the Capitol at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Downtown Sacramento on April 10th-11th. SAHU is entertaining hosting a social event on the evening of the 10th. More to come.
It has been a very busy start to the year with some political posturing to try and force passage of the Single Payer bill SB 810-Status: FAIL.
Furthermore, AB 52, which gives unprecedented and tyrannical power to the Insurance Commissioner over rate approval and plan design is in its final year of consideration-and there is a very big movement to try and ensure its passage; including a potential proposition in the November state ballot. The CAHU Legislative Council meets March 8th in Burbank for our annual bill review to determine our priorities for the year.
This will be a very busy legislative year and we appreciate your support, your membership, and your PAC contributions. Please continue to come to our monthly lunch meetings where we spend 10-15 minutes reviewing legislative activity and will keep you up to date. You owe it to your clients.