Republican Senators Press To Repeal Health Law’s Insurance Fee
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., are battling to undo this annual fee, which is expected to raise $8 billion in 2014 and $14.3 billion by 2018. Also, some Senate Democrats are warning that a provision in the health law could undermine farmers' ability to obtain health insurance and some consumer advocates are warning that a tax rule needs to be re-written.
CQ HealthBeat: Republican Senators Want To Kill Health Care Law Insurance Fee
Two Republican senators have joined the battle against the health care overhaul law's annual fee on insurers, a provision of the measure that the White House will likely fight hard to retain. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Orin G. Hatch of Utah have introduced a bill to repeal the fee, expected to raise $8 billion in 2014 and $14.3 billion by 2018. In remarks on the Senate floor on Wednesday, Hatch said the fee, which insurers and GOP lawmakers call a tax, "is going to hurt employers and employees. It is going to be a drag on our economy, and it is going to depress wages" (Bunis, 11/17).
The Hill: Senate Dems Say Health Law Has Unintended Consequences For Farmers
The healthcare reform law could threaten farmers' insurance coverage, a group of Senate Democrats said. The law could undermine farmers' cooperatives, which provide coverage for thousands of farmers and their families. That threat is an "unintended, and unwanted" side effect of the law's tax credits, Democrats said (Baker, 11/17).
The Hill: IRS Warned Health Care Law Could Leave Millions Without Insurance
President Obama's healthcare law will leave millions of families without affordable coverage unless tax officials rewrite the rules on who gets subsidies, advocates warned Thursday. A dozen consumer advocacy groups urged the Internal Revenue Service to allow workers' spouses and dependents to qualify for tax credits if employer-sponsored family plans are unaffordable. The Treasury Department in August released proposed regulations that grant subsidies to workers and their families in cases when employer coverage costs too much for the employee only, but not when family coverage is out of reach (Pecquet, 11/17).
Also in the news is more analysis of what might happen when the Supreme Court considers the health law -
CQ HealthBeat: Supreme Irony: Employer Mandate May Survive Health Care Law Challenge
Despite the business community’s fierce opposition to the health care overhaul, the requirement that employers provide insurance coverage could survive a legal challenge even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down other major provisions of the landmark law. While the high court accepted health care cases for review earlier this week, it has not scheduled arguments on the so-called employer mandate in the lawsuit brought by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and other plaintiffs (Reichard, 11/17).
Medscape: ACA Case Before Supreme Court Attracts Superlatives
Searching for a precedent for the politicized case before the high court, [Emory University Prof. Robert] Schapiro goes back to the 1930s, when the Supreme Court dismantled much of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. That set of initiatives was the government's response — loved in some quarters, detested in others — to the Great Depression (Lowes, 11/17).
AP/MSNBC: Scott Says Health Law Won't Prevail In Court
Gov. Rick Scott says he's convinced the landmark federal health care law will not prevail at the U.S. Supreme Court. In an editorial board interview Thursday with The Palm Beach Post, the Republican says he believes the challenges of Florida and other states will win at the high court. He says, "It's not the law of the land. I don't believe it will ever be the law of the land." Scott is a billionaire former hospital executive who founded Conservatives for Patients' Rights, which opposed President Barack Obama's health care efforts (11/18).