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Tag Archives: senate

An Interview with Sheila Burke

Sheila Burke was chief of staff to former Senator Robert Dole (R-KS), the Republican leader during the Clinton health reform effort. The O’Neill Institute’s Lester Feder spoke with her about what makes this time around different. Lester Feder: Compared to your experience in the ’90s, what do you make of the health reform process so […]

Remedies Against Health Plans Under the Senate Bill

Section 2719 of the Senate Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, HR 3590, provides for appeals of coverage determinations and claims. This section explicitly applies to group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual insurance coverage. Section 1551(a) of the bill incorporates the definitions found in 42 U.S.C. § 300gg-91, which defines […]

The Confusing Insurance Categories in the Senate Bill

Another feature of the Senate bill that compares unfavorably with the House bill is its confusing definitions of insurance coverage. The House bill recognizes one category of private insurance, a “qualified health benefits plan,” which employers are obligated to provide and individuals to buy. This term is used throughout the bill. Only grandfathered plans are […]

The Senate Bill and the States

In my post of November 16, Returning to the Articles of Confederation, I compared the position that I expected the Senate bill to take on the role of the states in implementing health reform unfavorably to the approach taken by the House bill. The language of the Senate bill is now available, and, unfortunately, it […]

Returning to the Articles of Confederation?

A week ago the House of Representatives adopted HR 3962, the “Affordable Health Care for America Act.” In the very near future, the Senate will begin consideration of some version of the “America’s Healthy Future Act” or the “Affordable Health Choices Act.” Although we do not know the exact language of the Senate bill, its […]

It’s The Sick, Stupid

Ending discrimination against the sick is a central goal in health reform; all of the major bills ban health insurers from denying enrollment based on health status. But discrimination against the sick does not end once the insurance card arrives in the mail. Insurers have a menu of options for curbing the use of necessary […]

More on Taxation

The 1502 page legislative language of the Senate Finance bill became available yesterday on the Senate Finance Committee website. One of the many legal issues raised by this legislation relates to my October 8 post on the constitutionality of taxation. As you may recall, the Constitution requires that “Duties, Imposts and Excises,” generally called indirect […]

More on Takings

The individual mandate is not the only provision of the proposed health care reform legislation to raise takings clause issues. All of the bills currently marked up by the jurisdictional House and Senate committees include provision for the establishment of “exchanges” (called “gateways” in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee bill), which […]

Is it a Tax? Is it Constitutional?

By far the most controversial provision of the health care reform legislation pending in Congress from a constitutional perspective has been the individual mandate. The primary controversy has concerned the issue, which we addressed two weeks ago, of whether the commerce clause authorizes Congress to impose an individual mandate. A different constitutional issue, however, was […]