Action Needed on Bill to Delay Implementation of Employer Mandate
Further advocacy is needed to recruit additional cosponsors before bill can get a vote
October 28, 2014 01:43 PM
NAHC is urging all of its members to ask their Representatives to support legislation that would delay the employer mandate provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) until January 1, 2016 for businesses that offer services through Medicaid and Medicare. The bill, introduced by Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT), is entitled the Ensuring Medicaid and Medicare Access to Providers Act (H.R. 5098). (See NAHC Report, July 17, 2014 for coverage of this bill: click here).
The employer mandate is scheduled to go into effect on January 1 of 2015, just two months away. To obtain a delay in implementing this requirement, it is imperative that NAHC members accelerate their efforts of getting more cosponsors for H.R. 5098.
"The home care and hospice community is fighting many battles to ensure access to care does not diminish across the country,” said NAHC’s Vice President for Law Bill Dombi. “I urge everybody to ask their Representatives to support the bill of Rep. Daines that would offer some much needed relief from the looming employer mandate and the drastic consequenses it could have on home care and hospice."
While it is a positive development that H.R. 5098 is continuing to gain support, as NAHC has indicated in previous action alerts, House leadership informed Rep. Daines that his bill will get a vote if he gets 40 cosponsors. It now has 13. The list of H.R. 5098’s current cosponsors is below.
Steve Daines (R-MT)
Luke Messer (R-IN)
Joseph Pitts (R-PA)
Trent Franks (R-AZ)
James Lankford (R-OK)
Walter Jones (R-NC)
Cynthia Lummis (R-WT)
Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
Keith Rothfus (R-PA)
Mike Kelly (R-PA)
Scott Perry (R-PA)
Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Tom Marino (R-PA)
With the House in recess until after the Midterm elections, NAHC asks its members to take action and ask their Representatives to support this important bill.
The message NAHC wants its members to convey is that Medicaid and Medicare home care employers are unique in that, unlike other employment sectors that employ low-wage workers without health insurance, they cannot simply raise the price of their services to accommodate new costs that are beyond their control.
According to NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris, “this important legislation will help preserve access to home care for Medicaid and Medicare recipients while providing significant assistance to state Medicaid programs struggling to pay for home and community-based care on limited budgets.”
A large coalition of groups including NAHC and its affiliate, National Council on Medicaid Home Care, have called on CMS to convene a stakeholder summit that brings together representatives from all stakeholder groups—consumers, providers, workers, and state Medicaid programs—to develop and evaluate all the potential options available that can result in health insurance coverage for the workers. While CMS has listened to these concerns, no concrete action has yet to occur. Another year delay in the employer mandate would provide much needed breathing room to allow such a summit to be convened.
Please take a moment to urge your members of the House to cosponsor this legislation. For contact information, click here: Contact Your Elected Officials.
When calling, ask the receptionist to connect you with the staffer who handles health care issues. A link to the Dear Colleague letter Congressman Daines sent to the House inviting others to cosponsor is available here.
If the health staffers say they have not seen the Dear Colleague letter, offer to forward it to them.
To send a message through the NAHC Legislative Action Network urging Representatives to cosponsor the legislation, click here: Write your legislators.
As previously reported in NAHC Report, Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are cosponsoring S. 1330 that would delay implementation of the ACA employer mandate until January 1, 2016 for all employers, including private pay home care agencies. To urge your Senators to cosponsor S. 1330, go here: Write Your Legislators.