House Panel OKs Bill That Would Defund Individual Mandate Enforcement
By defunding this health law provision next year, even though it doesn't actually kick in until 2014, the measure could prevent the administration from hiring and training the necessary Internal Revenue Service personnel. In other reform news, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official defended the way the Department of Health and Human Services has proceeded in developing and implementing regulations related to the health overhaul.
The Hill: Approps Panel Approves Defunding Of Individual Mandates
House appropriators on Thursday approved a $19.9 billion financial services spending bill for 2012 that prohibits the federal government from enforcing the health care reform law's requirement that individuals buy insurance. The individual mandate does not take effect until 2014, but defunding the provision next year could have repercussions if it prevents the administration from hiring and training Internal Revenue Service agents. Over the long term, the Congressional Budget Office has said that defunding the mandate would reduce federal health insurance subsidies because fewer people would comply; at the same time, revenues would decrease because tax agents wouldn't be able to collect the penalty for noncompliance (Pecquet, 6/16).
Modern Healthcare: CMS Defends Process To Implement Health Reform Regs
A top CMS official on Wednesday defended the process the federal agency has used to implement measures of the health reform law in a congressional hearing that examined the regulatory effects of the 2010 act. Steven Larsen, deputy administrator and director of CMS' Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, was the only witness to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, which hosted a hearing on the same topic earlier this month (Zigmond, 6/16).
Meanwhile, the American Medical Association's House of Delegates will consider some reform issues during their meeting this week in Chicago -
The Baltimore Sun: AMA To Reconsider Support Of Health Insurance Requirement
A divided American Medical Association will consider withdrawing its support of a key tenet of the health overhaul law that requires Americans to purchase an insurance plan. The Chicago-based national doctors group, which represents nearly a quarter-million physicians, is being asked by several medical societies within the organization to change its stance in favor of the "individual mandate." A formal vote comes up at the AMA's annual policymaking House of Delegates meeting Saturday through Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (Japsen, 6/16).