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Skinny Repeal Bill Fails in the Senate

Healthcare Reform

Around 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning, in a surprising vote, Senator John McCain walked to the dais of the Senate and uttered one word, “No.” There were gasps on the Senate floor as Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) had already voted against the skinny repeal bill that had appeared to be gaining traction with GOP Senators. The plan was not to pass that particular bill as law, but to find the lowest common denominator that could be agreed upon and continue to work with the House GOP in conference to find something that could replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Four Republican Senators, including McCain, held a news conference earlier in the day and stated that they would only vote for the skinny repeal if they were assured by the House GOP leadership that the bill would go to conference and not be voted on as is.  There were conversations with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan throughout the evening but apparently that wasn’t enough for Senator McCain.

In an emotional address on the Senate floor around 1:45 a.m., Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his disappointment and challenged the Senate Democrats to share their ideas for improving the flaws of the ACA.

What comes next is a mystery. Very soon the House will depart for the long August recess and the Senate will follow in a week or two. The plan was to come back and move on to tax reform, but lawmakers will continue to be under pressure to address the challenges the ACA is facing across the country. 

As always, we will keep you posted with all the changes moving forward.

Written by Greg Stancil

Greg Stancil serves as a Senior Account Executive at Scott Benefit Services with over 18 years of experience in the healthcare industry, working with PPO networks, carriers and as a consultant. He also serves as Director of Healthcare Reform, as which he oversees Scott’s client healthcare reform plan actuarial validation and affordability custom modeling, healthcare client checklist, due diligence process and client HCR monthly webinar series. Additionally, Greg conducts healthcare reform workshops across the country. Greg attended Luther Rice University and has his Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), Chartered Healthcare Consultant (ChHC) and Certificate of Studies in Healthcare Reform designations from the American College.

Affordable Housing’s Economic Impact

Affordable Housing Apartment Building

The economic impact of affordable housing at the local level is significant. In fact, the development of affordable housing in communities has many short- and long-term economic benefits. This industry combines the investment potential of real estate development with the mission of helping low- and moderate-income individuals and families, while impacting the local economy through job creation and increased government revenue.

 Impact on Employment

One of the primary ways affordable housing positively impacts the economy is through direct and indirect job creation. In Virginia alone, it is estimated that from 1996-2016 266,135 short-term jobs and 10,245 long-term jobs were created due to affordable housing development, according to a report from the Virginia Housing Alliance. Another study released earlier this year, concluded that a total of 329,000 jobs were supported throughout New York State between 2011 and 2015 due to the construction or preservation of affordable housing units. 

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Senate Votes Yes on Motion to Proceed

Healthcare Reform

This afternoon the Senate voted to move forward on debate of the healthcare bill. It’s important to note that this vote only allows the Senate to move on to debate and doesn’t pass any particular version of a healthcare bill. 

There is still much discussion and confusion around exactly what happens next. Many in DC are reporting that several iterations and amendments will be voted on and will most likely fail. However, there does seem to be some growing consensus around a “skinny repeal”. This would be a very scaled-down version of repeal that could simply include repealing the individual and employer mandates and something like the medical device excise tax. Some in the GOP feel like it might be possibe to get the 50 votes by scaling the bill down to that level and continuing to tweak small pieces moving forward.

We will continue to monitor healthcare reform developments and provide updates on our Performance Thinking blog.

Run-off Insurance A Necessity in Today's Market

Today’s merger and acquisition (M&A) landscape is hyper active. In 2016 alone, there were more than 12,000 M&A deals in the U.S. These opportunities often create significant financial opportunity for the purchasing and selling entities. Alternatively, during the same period corporate bankruptcies totaled over 46,000, revealing that many companies are facing significant difficulties.

Both M&A events and bankruptcies typically lead to significant changes in a company’s corporate structure, which in turn impacts the exposures faced by its directors and officers (D&O), and their respective insurers. So, how does a D&O policy respond to changes in the structure of a business? When should management consider run-off insurance for ongoing protection?  

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OSHA Electronic Reporting Delay

The OSHA electronic reporting rule requires certain establishments to report information electronically from their OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301. The rule also requires OSHA to create a website that can be used to submit the required information. Under the rule, the first reports were due by July 1, 2017

However, on a recent update to its recordkeeping webpage, OSHA indicated that the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) website will not be ready to receive electronic workplace injury and illness reports until Aug. 1, 2017, and has proposed Dec. 1, 2017, as the new deadline.  

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