Dec 20, 2017

Health Care Implications of Tax Bill: No More Individual Mandate

Health Care and Taxes

Late yesterday, the U.S. Senate Republicans approved a tax bill, by a vote of 51-48. This bill was previously approved by the U.S. House by a vote of 227-203.  As the bill must be identical in both chambers, this bill now heads back to the U.S. House to correct three provisions. One of these provisions is the actual name of the bill. The Senate version’s short title, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” must be known as “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018,”… Read more


Jul 14, 2017

Is the New Senate Health Care Bill Already on Life Support?

Capitol Building with Reflection

As soon as the revised health care bill was introduced yesterday, criticism began and the margin for passage may already be compromised. Two Republican senators, moderate Susan Collins of Maine and conservative Rand Paul of Kentucky, have already announced they were not swayed by the revised bill. Republicans must have 50 out of 52 Republican Senators voting for the bill. As mentioned in my blog yesterday, the revised bill includes an amendment from Senator Ted Cruz (R., Tx.) which would allow insurers to sell “skimpy” plans, as long as they also offer at least one which meets the Affordable Care… Read more


Jun 30, 2017

Senate Leader Needs to Bring the Republicans Together to Pass The Health Care Bill

Stethoscope on US Currency

As mentioned in prior blog posts, the Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate and need 50 out of 52 Republicans to vote for the health care bill. Both conservatives and centrists want different provisions in the bill, and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-KY.) is struggling to bring the factions together in a way that will attract the votes of both of these groups. Once rewritten, he still needs to produce a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of the legislation’s impact on coverage levels and federal spending. Senate McConnell is planning on sending a revised version of… Read more


Jun 26, 2017

Health Care Bill-Opposition Continues While CBO to Weigh In On Cost

The American Health Care Act

As previously discussed in this blog, a discussion draft of the Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was introduced in the Senate last Thursday. Since that time, in addition to unanimous condemnation from the Democrats, including rallies by former Presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.), several Republican Senators have also voiced their opposition to portions of the bill. In some cases, it is demand for including certain provisions, such as opioid treatment. But the key point of contention appears to be the bill’s treatment of Medicaid. As a reminder, Medicaid is a Federal/State collaboration, with… Read more


Jun 22, 2017

Senate Health Care Bill Introduced Today

The American Health Care Act

The Senate health care bill, titled as the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” was introduced today. The discussion draft of the bill ( a mere 142 pages) is the Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House. Included in the draft is an additional $50 billion over four years to stabilize insurance exchanges. It also includes $15 billion a year in market-stabilizing funds over the next two years and $10 billion a year in 2020 and 2021. Under this bill, cost-sharing subsidy payments will remain available. $62 billion has also been allocated over eight years for… Read more


Jun 19, 2017

Senate to Consider Health Law Bill Before End of June?

Health Care Internet Domain

Last week, a story in the Washington Post (6/15, Sullivan, Snell), stated that the Senate was poised to consider the health care bill by the end of the month, before the summer recess. However, the article also states that other Republicans were “skeptical” that the Senate would be able to vote on the bill before the recess. What we do know is that the “repeal and replace” of the ACA (Affordable Care Act)  in the Senate is being conducted behind closed doors by 13 Republican Senators.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) continues to push for a vote before the July… Read more


Jun 1, 2017

English Only Version of Notices is OK Under COBRA

A terminated employee sued his former employer alleging that the COBRA election notice provided by the employer (in its role as group health plan administrator) was not “written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant” as required by COBRA in Valdivieso v. Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., 2017 WL 2191053 (M.D. Fla. 2017). English was the second language for this native Spanish-speaking former employee. In addition to certain other allegations related to specifics of the COBRA Notice, he alleged that the notice should have been provided in Spanish. The court allowed his other claims related to the… Read more


Apr 25, 2017

National Health Care Decisions Day: Do You Know Where Your Advance Directive Is?

Estate Planning

National Health Care Decisions Day was recognized this year the week of April 16-22. The purpose of the week was to focus on weaving Advance Directives and end-of-life care planning “into the fabric of life1.” Although the week has passed, it is critical to understand the importance of Advance Directives. What is an Advance Directive?  Often called a living will, it details a patient’s wishes for treatment when the patient is seriously ill and unable to make or communicate his or her own medical decisions.  Often, in the same or a separate document, it will name a health care agent or… Read more


Jun 24, 2013

Welcome to the New Health Care Blog

Authored by: Laura Miller Andrew To all interested parties, we have implemented this new blog to discuss all things health care, including health care reform, HIPAA, and compliance with  health care related laws. Next week, I will be live blogging from the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) annual conference in San Diego on topics of interest to health care professionals. Follow our blog to be kept informed on the latest news and trends about health care. Your comments are welcome and we look forward to hearing from you.