Administration Unveils New Round Of Health Law Rule Changes


Administration Unveils New Round Of Health Law Rule Changes

Among the wide-ranging set of changes, the one drawing the most attention is the Obama administration’s decision to allow some consumers to keep health coverage into 2017 that does not comply with the overhaul’s minimum standards. Other changes include an extension of next year’s enrollment period, more backup for plans in insurance exchanges dealing with high patient costs and more time for states deciding whether to run their own marketplaces.

The New York Times: Some Policies Get More Time In Health Shift
The Obama administration, grappling with continued political fallout over its health care law, said Wednesday that it would allow consumers to renew health insurance policies that did not comply with the new law for two more years, pushing the issue well beyond this fall’s midterm elections (Pear,3/5).

Los Angeles Times: Consumers Allowed To Keep Substandard Health Plans Into 2017
The Obama administration announced Wednesday that some Americans with health insurance policies that don’t meet consumer standards set by the president’s new healthcare law would be allowed to keep their plans into 2017, three years later than originally envisioned. The delay, which could put off the final cancellation of some health plans until after President Obama leaves office, may have limited practical impact (Levey, 3/5).

The Washington Post: Obama Administration Rewrites Some Health-Care Policies
The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it has rewritten an array of far-reaching rules under the Affordable Care Act. … The rule changes will touch essentially every sector affected by the 2010 health-care law. It will buffer more health plans in insurance exchanges from high patient costs, give states more time to decide whether to run their own marketplaces, and spare certain unions from a fee they have resented (Goldstein and Somashekhar, 3/5).

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Gives Health Plans Added Two-Year Reprieve
But a series of delays by the administration—and decisions by states on implementing the law—have taken a toll. The latest delay came Wednesday, when federal officials said insurance companies could continue selling plans that don’t meet the law’s more rigorous standards until 2016 in some instances. It was the second time the administration delayed that requirement after the law’s tougher standards prompted insurers to cancel millions of people’s health plans last year. The latest delay averts another raft of cancellations before this year’s midterm elections (Radnofsky, 3/5).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: 2-Year Extension Offered For Canceled Health Plans
The decision helps defuse a political problem for Democrats in tough re-election battles this fall, especially for senators who in 2010 stood with President Barack Obama and voted to pass his health overhaul (3/5).

Kaiser Health News: Changes To Health Law Rules Include Extra Month To Enroll In 2015
The Obama administration on Wednesday released a broad set of regulatory changes to the health law that would give some consumers additional time to stay in plans that do not comply with all its coverage requirements and all consumers more time to enroll in coverage come 2015 (Carey, 3/6).

Reuters: U.S. Health Plans That Don’t Meet Obamacare Rules Can Renew For Two More Years
The Obama administration on Wednesday said it would allow health insurers to extend plans that fail to comply with its signature health law for an additional two years, a move Republicans quickly condemned as a politically motivated delay (Morgan, 3/5).

Bloomberg: Obamacare Policies Change for 2015 To Add Flexibility 
With midterm congressional elections bearing down, the government changed its regulation of Obamacare to give consumers and states more flexibility to decide on their health plans, insurers more time to sign up customers and taxpayers a chance to avoid more costs (Wayne, 3/5).

McClatchy: Canceled Health Insurance Plans Extended – Again
The administration’s second canceled-policy “fix,” following a one-year extension granted in November, was the most notable and controversial of several new executive branch tweaks made to the health law for next year. Theoretically, the move allows about 500,000 individual and 1 million small group health policies to continue through October 2017 (Pugh, 3/5).

ABC News: White House Extends ‘Keep Your Plan’ Fix for Obamacare
Facing growing opposition from his own party, President Obama announced a transition plan last fall that allowed Americans who were losing their coverage because it didn’t comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act to keep their plans for up to a year before being forced into coverage that meets the new standards. Today, the administration said it would extend that transition plan for two years to policies issued up to October 1, 2016, allowing consumers to renew their 2013 plans for two more years (Bruce and Good, 3/5).

NBC News: Feds Offer Two-Year Obamacare Delay For Some
Senior administration officials confirmed rumors that had been circulating for days that the administration would further extend the exception for people who object to being forced to buy new policies that meet tough new government requirements (Fox, 3/6).

CBS News: Obamacare Officials: No Concern About Mass Insurance Cancellations
By extending the policy that long — potentially letting consumers keep plans that aren’t Obamacare-compliant until the fall of 2017 — the administration says it should avoid another wave of dropped insurance policies (Condon, 3/5).

USA Today: People May Keep Old Health Insurance Another Year
The change represented another midcourse correction for the law, which is still recovering from the flawed opening of the federal and state health care exchanges last Oct. 1 and the delay of several key provisions (Kennedy, 3/5).

Fox News: Administration Offers 2-Year Obamacare Extension For Canceled Health Plans
The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will let people keep health insurance plans that would otherwise be out of compliance with ObamaCare for another two years, in a delay Republicans portrayed as an election-year ploy (3/5).

The Wall Street Journal: Latest Health-Law Changes Affect Consumers, Insurers, Employers
The Obama administration unveiled a slate of health-law changes Wednesday, including stretching the enrollment period for next year’s plans an extra month and fine-tuning a financial backstop meant to limit insurers’ losses if they end up with sicker customers than expected. Some of the shifts compensate for a series of earlier policy changes as the Obama administration responded to criticism over the glitchy launch of the Affordable Care Act and a wave of health-plan cancellations. Others, such a new threshold for out-of-pocket medical expenses, give insurers the tools to begin setting prices for 2015 plans (Weaver and Francis, 3/5).

The Washington Post: Obama Administration Permits Further Delay To Health Exchanges For Small Businesses
The Obama administration on Wednesday gave states more time to implement a key feature of the new employer health care marketplaces and gave small businesses more time to comply with some of the new coverage requirements in the law. Under the Affordable Care Act, states are required to offer a health care exchange where small businesses can enroll in and pay for insurance plans, all online. Companies in states that declined to build their own portals would be able to access a similar network run by the federal government (Harrison, 3/5).

Are Restaurants Really Risky Businesses?


In the past decade, more government-guaranteed loans have gone to full-service restaurants than any other industry – 34,138, to be exact. The limited-service restaurant industry, including drive-in, take-out and fast-food establishments, came in second with 25,288 loans.

The dollar amounts were also impressive. Loans to full-service restaurants topped $8.15 billion, falling just shy of the $8.25 billion that the hotel sector received, according to the National Association of Government-Guaranteed Lenders, a lobbying organization that collects data on loans backed by the Small Business Administration. Limited-service restaurant loans totaled $5.03 billion.

Restaurants are commonly known for being risky ventures, so why do risk-averse banks disburse so many loans to them? After all, restaurants carry a terrific deal of overhead – roughly two-thirds of each dollar earned is allocated to food, beverages and labor, according to the National Restaurant Association. And then there’s the added expense of rent and utilities. Restaurateurs also have to comply with numerous regulations while satisfying picky and demanding customers (see our post, “How to Open a Restaurant”).

The first explanation for the high loan volumes is the sheer number of restaurants. The NRA recently reported that restaurants are the second-largest private industry in the U.S., after health care. There are nearly a million locations across the country, says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and knowledge at the Washington D.C.-based organization.

“The universe is extremely large and it isn’t surprising that restaurants are near or at the top of the list regarding both the dollar amount as well as numbers of loans,” he says.

Could that mean banks are issuing lots of loans to eateries that are then defaulting?

Not necessarily. While full-service and limited-service restaurants top the list for the number and dollar-value of SBA loans, they slipped down the list when it came to loan failures.

Only 4.4% of full-service restaurant loans were charged off — or written off as a loss after the SBA collected personal guarantees and other collateral put up against them. Some 6.3% of limited-service restaurant loans were charged off. By comparison, women’s clothing stores hover at a 12% charge-off rate, nail salons at 14% and shellfishing operations at 36%, according to data from NAGGL.

Of the 1,128 industries that received SBA loans between Oct. 1, 2000 and Sept. 30, 2010, the government’s last fiscal decade, full-service restaurants placed 408th in the charge-off rank, and limited-service restaurants placed 204th.

To be sure, plenty of restaurants shutter every year. But research seems to indicate that the number of closings isn’t stratospheric. Establishments in the leisure and hospitality sector have survival rates that are on par with other industries, according to a 2005 study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Combine that research with the loan-failure figures provided by NAGGL, and there’s a case to be made for restaurants: Maybe they aren’t that risky, after all.

 

When the Banks Say No LendBerry Lenders Says Yes!

About LendBerry Lenders Funding Solutions

  • The Loan is Unsecured/No Collateral 
  • Receive Capital in 1 to 2 Days After Approval
  • 90% Plus of All Applicants Get Approved
  • No Application Fees and No Brokers Fees
  • The Ability to Refinance Existing Funding
  • Bad Credit OK / FICO as Low as 500
  • Funding Amounts Up To $1,000,000
  • Affordable Repayment Plans
  • Flexible Terms (6 to 12 Months or Longer)

 Call LendBerry to get started today! 248-387-9868

Norquist Aims to Stop Internet Sales Tax Legislation


English: Grover Norquist at a political confer...

English: Grover Norquist at a political conference in Orlando, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Christopher Hitchens at a party at th...

English: Christopher Hitchens at a party at the house of Grover Norquist following the CPAC convention in January 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Official photo cropped of United Stat...

English: Official photo cropped of United States Senator and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 23 Apr 2013 02:07 PM

By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent  –

Internet sales-tax legislation racing through the Senate is likely to

face roadblocks when it moves to the House, anti-tax activist Grover

Norquist told Newsmax Tuesday.

“The reason we have a House and Senate is when you rush something

through one body, you have a chance to think it through in the other

body,” said Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.“We’re

making the case on the House side of either seriously amending it or

even stopping it.”

The Senate is likely this week to pass the bill, which would greatly

expand the ability of states to collect sales taxes across state lines

on online purchases. Under current law, states can collect sales taxes

from retailers only if they have a physical presence in the state — a

store, warehouse, or office.

The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to collect taxes even if

the retailer does not have a physical presence in the state.

That’s just wrong, according to Norquist, who describes the legislation

as a massive expansion of taxing authority over businesses that have no

recourse in the matter.

“You should only be taxing people who can vote for you or against you,” Norquist said.

The Senate voted 74 to 20 on Monday to clear the Internet sales tax bill

for consideration on the floor, but on final passage it will have at

least one high-ranking Republican dissenter.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky cited the difficulty

for businesses to comply with the different tax codes in all the areas

where their customers reside. McConnell says that creates an enormous

advantage to large retailers who can afford such costs over smaller

businesses.

“If states decide they need this revenue, they should keep in mind the

tremendous burden they’ll be placing on the little guys who do so much

to drive this economy,” McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor.

“In my view, the federal government should be looking for ways to help,

not hurt, these folks.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Study Finds Health Care Spending Will Rebound When Economy Picks Up


Responses to the question: "For future pr...

Responses to the question: “For future presidential elections, would you support or oppose changing to a system in which the president is elected by direct popular vote, instead of by the electoral college?” Data from Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation-Harvard University Survey of Political Independents, conducted May-June 2007, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/independents/post-kaiser-harvard-topline.pdf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The analysis by The Kaiser Family Foundation says the slowdown in
health spending over the past several years was largely driven by the
economic malaise.

Los Angeles Times: Study: Growth In Health Spending, Curbed By Recession, To Rebound

A new study attributes a slowdown in U.S. healthcare spending to the
recent recession and predicts more rapid growth as the economy
strengthens. The report issued Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation
seeks to shed light on the reasons behind the recent drop-off. The
analysis found that economic factors related to the recession accounted
for 77% of the reduced growth in national healthcare spending, which
totaled an estimated $2.8 trillion in 2012 (Terhune, 4/22).

The Washington Post’s WonkBlog: Here’s Why Health-Care Costs Are Slowing

The answer has huge implications for the federal budget, which now faces
threats of really fast growth in Medicare, Medicaid and other health
programs. If those programs grow like they have for the past few years —
at the same rate as the rest of the economy — then that frees up lots
of funds for whatever other investments the federal government wants to
make (Kliff, 4/22).

The Hill: Study Predicts Rise In Healthcare Cost Growth By 2019

A stronger U.S. economy will contribute to a rise in the growth of
healthcare costs over the next six years, ending the current
record-breaking slowdown, according to a new study. The Kaiser Family
Foundation (KFF) predicted that by 2019, annual healthcare cost growth
will be closer to historic averages — over 7 percent compared to 3.9
percent between 2009 and 2011 (Viebeck,4/22).

CQ HealthBeat: Nation’s Health Spending Problem Remains Unsolved, Kaiser Analysts Say

Speculation that the nation’s health spending problem has somehow been
solved or cut down to size is unrealistic, says a new Kaiser Family
Foundation study that concludes 77 percent of the slowdown stems from
the weak economy. … But the analysts had a bit of good news. They said
the chilling effect on individual health spending due to the weak
economy will continue for a few more years (Reichard, 4/22).

(KHN is an editorially independent project of The Kaiser Family Foundation.)

Meanwhile, a different analysis is released on health issues–

Reuters: S&P Sees Pension Funding Burden Of Nonprofit Healthcare

Pension liabilities, expenses and contributions remain a burden on U.S.
not-for-profit hospitals despite improvements in the investments used to
fund the retirement systems, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services
said on Monday. Large pension funding demands will likely “be a drag on
the sector for several years,” it added (Lambert and Trokie, 4/22).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary
of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The
full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Some Boston Marathon Bomb Victims Will Face Insurance Coverage Limits


Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Payments for prosthetics, rehabilitation and a range of other
treatments may fall outside some insurance limits and could continue
long into the future.

The New York Times: For Wounded, Daunting Cost; For Aid Fund, Tough Decisions

Many of the wounded could face staggering bills not just for the trauma
care
they received in the days after the bombings, but for prosthetic
limbs
, lengthy rehabilitation and the equipment they will need to
negotiate daily life with crippling injuries. Even those with health
insurance may find that their plan places limits on specific services,
like physical therapy or psychological counseling (Goodnough, 4/22).

Politico: Coverage Limits Are Harsh Reality For Amputees

Those who lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombings now need care to
learn to navigate the world in a new way — and navigate a thorny area of
health care coverage, too. In the case of the Boston bombings, pledges
and offers of support have poured in to help with the health care costs
of the 14 people who reportedly lost all or part of a limb. But for some
amputees, covering the staggering cost for prosthetics care can be a
struggle (Smith, 4/23).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary
of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The
full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Proposal Would Require Insurers To Report Health Law Taxes


English: , member of the United States Senate....

English: , member of the United States Senate. Español: John Cornyn, un senador del Senado de los Estados Unidos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The measure’s sponsor, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, bills it as a
way to educate consumers about how the health law’s benefits are funded.

The Hill: Insurers Would Report ObamaCare Taxes Under GOP Bill

A new bill from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) would require health insurers
to disclose taxes they pay under ObamaCare to policyholders. In a
statement Monday, Cornyn touted the measure as a way to educate
consumers about how the Affordable Care Act’s benefits are funded
(4/22).

Also in the news, health law opponents are pressing for repeal of the
health law’s medical device tax, among other provisions, in
comprehensive tax reform legislation –

Roll Call: Health Law Tax Foes Find Hope In Overhaul Effort

Proponents of doing away with provisions such as the medical-device tax
and the annual fee on health insurance companies say they already have
bipartisan support for their repeal legislation. But the efforts still
will face health care politics and the need for significant offsets,
making their inclusion far from certain as lawmakers work toward
comprehensive tax legislation that can pass in both chambers (Attias,
4/22).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary
of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The
full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Next Stage Of Health Law Triggers Concern, Confusion


Obamacare Protest at Supreme Court

Obamacare Protest at Supreme Court (Photo credit: southerntabitha)

News outlets report on the confusion that continues to surround
the health law, especially as key provisions are about to take effect.
Meanwhile, officials and activists strategize about how to educate
consumers about their options.

Georgia Health News: Concern, Confusion Over The Next Stage Of Reform

In six months, Jimmy Rowalt will no longer have health insurance. For
the past two and a half years, the 25-year-old Athens resident has
worked at Highwire Lounge without worrying about the job’s lack of
health benefits. Now he’s a manager there, working 45 to 55 hours a
week. A rule allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ health
insurance policies until age 26 was one of the first provisions of the
Affordable Care Act to go into effect, in September 2010. … Rowalt’s
options will be meager after his October birthday, when he will be
dropped by his parents’ insurance company (Murphy, 4/22).

CT Mirror: Strategizing On Helping The Uninsured With Health Care Reform

As the country gears up to launch the Affordable Health Act, one of the
most difficult tasks will be to sell it to uninsured people who may have
never heard of the word “co-pay” or know what a primary care physician
is. That was the message of Alta Lash, a Connecticut community organizer
who was one of several speakers from across the nation at a daylong
roundtable discussion Monday on how to promote health equity through
“Obamacare.” The event attracted about 200 policymakers, social workers,
physicians and researchers to the Mark Twain House in Hartford for a
discussion of how to eliminate health disparities through the expanded
coverage that will take effect in January (Merritt, 4/22).

CNN Money: Millions Eligible For Obamacare Subsidies, But Most Don’t Know It

Nearly 26 million Americans could be eligible for health insurance
subsidies next year, but most don’t know it. That’s because relatively
few people are familiar with provisions in the Affordable Care Act, aka
“Obamacare,” that will provide tax credits to low- and middle-income
consumers to help them purchase health coverage through state-run
insurance exchanges (Luhby, 4/23).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary
of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The
full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.