The Selection of Tom Price for HHS Secretary Is Cause for Concern

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Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) Photo: Tom Price Facebook page

We are greatly concerned that Donald Trump’s pick for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Representative Tom Price, will curtail the maintenance of health coverage gains achieved under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In a statement this week, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía questioned the wisdom of the incoming president’s selection.

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There Are Still 45 Days Left to Enroll in Health Coverage!

You may have heard that today, December 15, is the deadline to enroll in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would start on January 1, 2016. Nearly three million people, including one million new consumers, have signed up for health coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace during this enrollment period. Florida leads the charge with 600,000 enrollees, thanks in large part to the hard work of our Affiliates!

2016_Give-the-gift-of-healthcareBut…if you haven’t had a chance to enroll, there’s still time! Whether you are signing up for coverage through the marketplace for the first time or are a returning customer, you still have 45 days to enroll before the January 31 deadline for coverage in 2016.

Health coverage is an important part of ensuring that you and your family stay healthy this year. Having insurance is not just for when you are sick, but can actually help prevent you from becoming sick in the first place. There are now 72 preventive services available free of charge, including screenings for chronic conditions like high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. By enrolling in coverage, you can invest in the well-being of yourself and your loved ones, and protect your family from unnecessary financial hardship.

If you have not yet gone to the marketplace, it is important to know that financial help is available. Eight out of 10 people who apply for coverage will qualify for financial help through the marketplace, or for free and low-cost coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Last year, those who qualified for financial help received an average tax credit of $270 per month.

If you are a returning consumer, it is also important to understand your 2016 options. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about seven in 10 returning consumers will be able to buy a plan for $75 or less in monthly premiums after tax credits in 2016. So, shop around for health coverage that best fits your needs and your budget!

As you check off your holiday shopping list, make sure to do something for yourself, and head to healthcare.gov or cuidadodesalud.gov to get covered. You can also find local help to answer any questions by visiting localhelp.healthcare.gov or by calling (800) 318-2596.

Weekly Washington Outlook — June 8, 2015

Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ACapitol-Senate.JPG

Photo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ACapitol-Senate.JPG

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

On Tuesday, the House will consider legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 2088 – United States Grain Standards Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway / Agriculture Committee)
  • R. 2051 – Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway / Agriculture Committee)
  • R. 2394 – National Forest Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Glenn Thompson / Agriculture Committee)
  • R. 235 – Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (Sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte / Judiciary Committee)
  • R. 889 – Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot / Judiciary Committee)

The House will also consider H. Res. 295 – Supporting local law enforcement agencies in their continued work to serve our communities, and supporting their use of body worn cameras to promote transparency to protect both citizens and officers alike (Sponsored by Rep. Al Green / Judiciary Committee) and will complete consideration of H.R. 2577 – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 (Modified Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart / Appropriations Committee)

On Wednesday and the balance of the week, the House will vote on

  • R. 2393 – Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway / Agriculture Committee)
  • R. 2685 – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2016 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen / Appropriations Committee)

It is possible members will vote on H.R. 2596 – Intelligence Authorization Act of 2015 and legislation relating to trade.

Senate:

The Senate will resume consideration this week of H.R.1735, Defense Authorization.

White House:

On Monday, the president will attend a G-7 meeting in Germany on energy and climate and a G-7 meeting with outreach guests on terrorism. Afterward, President Obama will participate in a family photo with outreach guests and attend a working lunch on development issues. In the afternoon, the president will hold a press conference before returning to Washington.

On Tuesday, President Obama will attend the Catholic Hospital Association Conference in Washington. The president will discuss what healthcare reform has meant to millions of Americans – not only in terms of improved and affordable coverage options for individuals, but in terms of new rights and protections for all consumers, rising quality of care, and the transformative impact on the economy as a whole.

On Wednesday, the president will attend meetings at the White House.

On Thursday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House and a DNC roundtable in Washington.

On Friday, the president will attend meetings at the White House.

Also This Week:

Appropriations – The Senate Appropriations Subcommittees will mark-up their versions of spending bills for FY2016. The Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee will mark-up its bill on Wednesday and the full Committee will take up this legislation on Thursday.  Senate Democrats have vowed to vote against procedural motions on the floor for any appropriations bill that upholds sequestration spending levels. Elsewhere, the House will complete consideration of its Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill and defense spending.

Education – After much speculation that the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) could be brought back to the floor this week, it is not currently on this week’s schedule despite its inclusion in Majority Leader McCarthy’s memo for this work period. Instead, all eyes remain on the Senate as members prepare to take up a bipartisan ESEA reauthorization.  There has been some discussion on the Hill that the timing for bringing this bill to the floor could slip to July or even the fall. However, the business and civil rights community is continuing to work to get support on both sides of the aisle for an amendment that would strengthen the accountability system in the bill.

Financial Services – The House will vote this week on a reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, H.R. 2289. The bill would limit the regulatory body’s ability to oversee overseas derivative trades and would modify other rules that stemmed from the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Policing – The House will vote this week on H. Res. 295, a non-binding resolution, that would encourage state and local law enforcement officers to use body-worn cameras.  The goal is to increase transparency and improve police-community relations. The resolution also recognizes the work of law enforcement officers in keeping communities safe nationwide.

Health – The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on the implementation of the ACA and the Department of Health and Human Services’ budget request for FY2016. The Senate HELP Committee will also hold a hearing on Wednesday on health information strategies to improve patient care.  Elsewhere, in the wake of a King v. Burwell decision, work is ongoing on possible legislative solutions if the Supreme Court finds against the government. While Republican leadership seems to have coalesced around a proposal by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) put forward his own version today that would establish “individual health pools” for individuals and small employers.

Tax – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave an interview that was published over the weekend that made clear the Senate would not consider comprehensive tax reform this year. There have been rumors in recent weeks that a broad deal could be attached to must-pass legislation, like highway funding.

Labor – The Department of Labor could announce a long-awaited overtime rule this week that could double the salary level of workers able to claim time and a half payments. The not-yet-announced rule is already controversial with Republican lawmakers. The House Education and Workforce Committee has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday “Reviewing the Rules and Regulations Implementing Federal Wage and Hour Standards.”

Millennial Latinos and the Affordable Care Act

We’re joining Young Invincibles this Monday for their weekly Millennial Monday twitter chat. This week, we’ll be chatting about Millennial Latinos and the Affordable Care Act, and how to get them signed up with health coverage. It’s all part of the Department of Health and Human Services Latino Enrollment Week! Details below:

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