Around 3:30 p.m. on Friday House Speaker Paul Ryan came to the conclusion that the GOP didn’t have the votes in the House of Representatives to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and pulled it off the floor prior to a vote.
This outcome came after a very tumultuous three weeks for the AHCA legislation, including multiple amendments, a CBO score that showed 24 million more people would be uninsured under the law, and what was perceived as rushed committee mark-up meetings and votes to keep the legislation moving forward.
In a prepared statement late Friday, Speaker Ryan acknowledged that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the “law of the land for the foreseeable future.” Lawmakers have differing opinions as to how quickly they will resume efforts to repeal and replace the ACA, but most think it will not be an immediate priority.
President Trump, in press availability shortly after the bill was pulled, was asked what issue is next on his agenda. He stated, “We’ll probably be going right now for tax reform, which we could have done earlier … so now we’re going to go for tax reform, which I’ve always liked.” President Trump’s statement certainly seems to indicate that, at least in the short term, the ACA will remain in place.
What does this mean for employers?
Employers need to refocus their attention on the ACA and the various requirements that many thought might be going away under the AHCA. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we move forward with the ACA as the “law of the land”:
• Medical Device Excise Tax comes back in 2018
• Health Insurer Tax comes back in 2018
• PCORI fees continue through 2019
• Cadillac Tax set to go into effect in 2020
• All existing reporting requirements stand
• All existing notice requirements stand
• Must continue to offer coverage to those averaging more than 30-hours per week or face penalty
• Nondiscrimination for fully insured plans TBD
• Auto-enrollment provision was repealed
Stay tuned as Scott Benefit Services will continue to keep you posted with any changes and updates in the world of healthcare reform.
OSHA has issued its final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems to better protect workers in general industry from slip, trip and fall hazards. The final rule updates and clarifies standards and adds training and inspection requirements. The final rule became effective on January 17, 2017; however, OSHA is allowing delayed or phased-in compliance dates for several requirements in the final rule. States with OSHA-approved state plans have six months to adopt standards that are at least as effective as Federal OSHA standards. Many state plans adopt standards identical to OSHA, but some state plans may have different or more stringent requirements.
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Last night, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives released their proposed repeal and replacement bill, called the American Health Care Act. The proposed legislation is a two-part bill, one coming from the Ways and Means Committee, and the other from the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Most notable for employers, the proposed legislation repeals the employer mandate and there will be no cap on the employer tax exclusion. (A full summary of the major impacts of the bill is included at the end of this post.)
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Each year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) releases a list of their “Most Wanted” safety improvements. The 2017-18 list includes several recommended improvements that are directly related to the work of petroleum marketers.
In my experience working with multiple petroleum marketers, I have seen the negative business impacts that a work-related accident or injury can create. Implementing these recommendations from the NTSB can improve your risk performance and, ultimately, your bottom line.
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Natural disasters can come in many forms, with the most common being related to windstorms, fires and flooding. More tornadoes occur in the United States than in any other part of the world. While large-scale disasters capture media attention, disasters can also be local in nature, such as electrical blackouts from lightning strikes or a vehicle collision with a power line. Such events can cause significant disruption to your operations.
With proper planning, downtime and loss of revenue can be kept to a minimum and operations quickly restored. A formal disaster recovery plan is critical to ensure continual operations for your business, and should incorporate the following elements:
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