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 Legislative & Policy Corner

Health Reform Implementation
On Jul. 2, President Obama announced a delay in what is commonly known as the employer mandate. This provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with more than 50 employees to either pay for health insurance for full time employees or face a penalty. This announcement means that they will not be required to pay a penalty for not providing health insurance to their employees until 2015. The administration explains that it is “transition relief” for those implementing the complex systems to verify the status of insurance coverage for employees. White House officials say of the change that “nothing in the new guidance regarding employer reporting and responsibility will limit individuals’ eligibility for premium tax credits to buy insurance through the marketplaces that open on Oct. 1.” 

Ahhhh Recess
Congress was out on recess or what is now known as “district work weeks,” last week so all was quiet on Capitol Hill. Never fear, members of Congress will return on Jul. 8 and the Senate will begin considering the fiscal year 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill. We anticipate an extremely busy week with regard to the federal budget. As soon as the proposed Senate funding level for the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant is made public, AMCHP will share that information with you.

Cautionary Tales
Two leading Washington, DC news sources, the Washington Post and Politico, published articles last week regarding sequestration’s long and slow burn. Both articles are real eye openers about the monumental hurdles ahead as it relates to sequestration and budget cuts. In essence, the general consensus on Capitol Hill is that sequestration is “in the rear view mirror,” and the “bottom of the list of things” members of Congress are worried about. Moreover, it alludes to a potential nine years worth of continuing resolutions. These articles are a must read! A synopsis will not do them justice.

Politico: The Sequester’s Long Slow Burn

The Washington Post: They Said Sequester Would Be Scary Mostly They Were Wrong

AMCHP will be participating in a national lobby day on Sept. 11 with other public health organizations to urge Congress to replace sequestration through a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Please share your story about the impact the sequester is having on Title V programs by filling out our survey.

National Call: Federal Policy Update, Member Only Call
AMCHP is hosting a MEMBER ONLY call on Jul. 15 at 3 p.m. EST. During this call, we will provide you with an update on the federal budget for fiscal year 2014, sequestration, Affordable Care Act implementation and our advocacy strategies moving forward.

To join the call, dial: 800-269-3762. (No pass code is needed) Please do not share this phone number widely.

Click here to RSVP.