House Gives Nod To $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill
Tucked into the more than 1,600-page measure is a technical fix to the Affordable Care Act that benefits Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance plans.
The Washington Post:
House Passes $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill
Congress managed to narrowly avoid another government shutdown crisis Thursday night when the House approved a $1.1 trillion spending package to keep most government agencies operating through next summer. The 219-to-206 vote came with less than three hours to go until government funding expired. (O'Keefe, 12/11)
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire:
How ‘Cromnibus’ Helps Blue Cross And Blue Shield
Tucked away near the end of the 1,600-page spending bill is a long-awaited technical fix to the health overhaul law — one that benefits Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers and has been in the works since the bill was passed in 2010. The backstory: Many of the nonprofit ‘Blue’ health plans receive tax breaks on their expenses and reserves as part of a 1980s arrangement in which they lost their broader tax-exempt status. Under the 2010 health law, Blue plans had to spend at least 85% of their revenue from insurance premiums on medical claims to continue to qualify for the breaks. The provision in the “cromnibus” bill ... would let the Blue plans count spending on improving health-care quality toward the 85% threshold. (Radnofsky, 12/11)