5 Senate Dems Seek Changes To Health Law
The Democrats, and one independent, want to modify a health law provision requiring companies to provide coverage if they have more than 50 employees. The senators want to make the cutoff 100 workers. Other proposals include offering consumers additional health plan choices, among them, a less-expensive "copper" option.
The Associated Press: 5 Senate Dems Back Easing Small Business Mandate
Several Senate Democrats want to eliminate a requirement in the health care law for companies to provide coverage if they have fewer than 100 workers. The current cutoff is 50 employees, although the Obama administration has suspended the so-called small business mandate temporarily. The legislation would mean an estimated 98 percent of businesses could decline to provide insurance without fear of a penalty (3/27).
McClatchy: Democratic Senators Have New Ideas For Health Care Law
Six Senate Democrats Thursday unveiled proposals to make changes in the Affordable Care Act, the health care law under fire from conservatives and Republicans. Two senators, Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, are considered among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this year as they face tough re-election efforts. Joining them in proposing new ideas for the health care law are Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Mark Warner, D-Va., Angus King, Ind.-Maine and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va (Lightman, 3/27).
The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Warner Introduces Heath Legislation
Amid a budget deadlock in the state legislature over whether Virginia should expand its Medicaid system to up to an additional 400,000 uninsured Virginians, Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., on Thursday introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate that would provide families with additional health coverage choices. Warner’s Expanded Consumer Choice Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat from Alaska, would provide for a new, lower-cost health coverage option for consumers, set up a process to allow coverage plans to be offered regionally and across state lines, and ease unnecessary reporting requirements for employers. Warner, facing a re-election campaign in a political climate charged by the controversy over the Affordable Care Act — which he supported — said Thursday that during the debate over health care reform, he had consistently pointed out that the new health care law was not perfect, and that Congress would have to revisit the law to correct [it] once it was implemented (Schmidt, 3/27).
Minnesota Public Radio: MNsure's Interim CEO To Testify At U.S. House Hearing
The Republican chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee is turning up the heat on Minnesota and several other states with troubled health insurance exchanges. U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa of California is sending letters to 10 governors, including Gov. Mark Dayton, and the District of Columbia's mayor, his office said. The letters seek internal documents and communications between state employees and contractors and Obama administration officials relating to their insurance exchanges from May 1, 2013 to present (Stawicki, 3/27).