The House Select Committee on Federal Legislation met on April 22nd to review the Federal Health Care Reform legislation.
Joy Johnson Wilson, NCSL Federal Affairs Counsel and Director of Health Policy, gave an overview of Health Care Reform. She noted there were 2 laws that make up health care reform. The U.S. Senate Bill, H.R. 3590, and the Reconciliation Act which passed out of the U.S. House. Wilson further pointed out that H.R. 3590 was amended on the floor so it is essential to confirm that any summary of the bill being relied upon includes not only both bills but also the manager’s amendment.
Wilson also clarified that U.S. Congress left many of the details of the reform to be determined in the regulatory process. Therefore, timely feedback will be crucial.
NCSL’s summary on the reform provisions can be found by visiting their website at: http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=17639. Other presetnations included:
- Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs gave a presentation on the impacts of health care reform to Texas. A power point copy of his presentation can be found at: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/news/presentations/2010/HouseSelectFedHlthReform.pdf
- Mike Geeslin, commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), gave an overview of the insurance impacts. A power point copy of his presentation can be found at: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/reports/documents/fedhealthreform33110.pdf
During the hearing two rapidly approaching deadlines were discussed:
April 30, 2010
States may choose whether and how they participate in the program but they must submit a letter of intent to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by April 30th (more explanation on this program is provided in the article below.)
May 14, 2010
This is the date that Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) must submit its response to HHS in regards to the role of TDI in review of insurance rate increases. TDI pointed out this is strictly an information provision but more details on the role of TDI and the process will not be available until guidance if offered by the HHS. Stakeholders will meet on May 1st to review the response before sending it on to HHS.
Additional testimony and comments were offered by spokespersons from the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) who noted their plans could get a significant source of funding from the federal government.
HillCo Partners will continue to monitor the regulatory process and keep you updated on significant developments as they occur.
In the coming weeks the House Select Committee on Federal Legislation will also review environmental legislation and banking legislation.