Health Care Weekly Wrap-Up

Health Care Weekly Wrap-Up is our weekly look at developments affecting health care at the federal and state levels.

This week, the Medicare Access and Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 which would permanently repeal and replace the SGR and reauthorize funding for CHIP for two years. The bill will be addressed by the Senate when it returns from a two-week recess.

Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States

Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States update is our weekly report on Health Insurance Exchange developments.

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released an analysis that estimated that 50 percent of households receiving financial assistance to purchase private health insurance on the Marketplaces will have to return a portion of that subsidy when they file their tax returns as part of the tax credit reconciliation process and Access Health CT released information showing that users that interacted with the Marketplace’s online avatar were nine times more likely to enroll in coverage.

Lisa Ellman's South by Southwest Drone Fever Talk Featured in Texas Bar Blog

McKenna Long UAS Practice Co-Chair Lisa Ellman recently delivered a "Privacy in the Age of Drone Fever" talk at the 25th Annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. Texas Bar Blog featured Lisa's talk in their recent blog post "SXSW panel on drones fever: benefits vs. privacy".

Ellman thinks that all of these valid points must be weighed with the potential for drones to do good in the world. And here's where policy comes in to enable the machines to perform such beneficial functions while also addressing the privacy concerns. Noting that commercial use of drones will likely be legal in a few years as Congress is working to integrate drones into federal airspace, Ellman said that there is also "no shortage of legislation from all levels of government aimed at limiting use of drones in the name of privacy." Some policy is smart and some isn't, she said, referring to a proposed Oklahoma law that would allow private citizens to shoot down drones that come onto their property.

When crafting legislation, Ellman said it's important that policymakers embrace the glories of drone technology while also avoiding the duplication of laws that are already protecting the public. "It's likely that complete bans on drone use are overbroad because they ignore the benefits," she said. "We must ask ourselves, 'Are drones uniquely troublesome in certain ways?' But we must also ask, 'What laws and policies are already in place that protect us?'" Ellman thinks that legislation on drone use without warrants is duplicative because of 4th Amendment protections already in place and that drone-focused private property laws are duplicative because trespassing laws already exist. "We should take a close look at those and see where there are gaps, but don't duplicate," she said.

To read the full article, please click here

Topics: UAS

Stefan Passantino Interviewed on LexBlog Network TV

Stefan Passantino, head of the Political Law Team at McKenna Long & Aldridge, was featured on LexBlog Network TV this week discussing Oregon's decision to automatically register voters using information collected at the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

The full interview may be watched via the video clip below.

Health Care Weekly Wrap-Up

Health Care Weekly Wrap-Up is our weekly look at developments affecting health care at the federal and state levels.  

This week, Republicans in both the House and Senate released their budget resolutions for fiscal year 2016 and lawmakers also introduced a bill to repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR), the formula that determines Medicare’s annual updates to the physician fee schedule.

Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States

Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States update is our weekly report on Health Insurance Exchange developments.

This week, HealthCare.gov’s Special Enrollment Period opened on Sunday and Governor Peter Shumlin (D) said that Vermont was considering a switch to using HealthCare.gov’s online enrollment system if improvements to Vermont Health Connect were not completed in time for this fall’s Open Enrollment.

Andrew Shaw Pens Article on Geopolitical and Environmental Objectives in Morning Consult

McKenna Long’s Andrew Shaw recently authored an article in Morning Consult entitled "How A State Department Energy Program Can Enhance U.S. Geopolitical And Environmental Objectives".

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that there are significant shale gas resources in Eastern Europe, and that developing these resources in a responsible manner could be a significant medium- to long-term response to the continent’s reliance on Russian natural gas.  For instance, the EIA estimates that Poland and Ukraine contain 148 and 128 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas resources, respectively.  For too long, Russia has used the region’s dependence on its natural gas resources as a political cudgel, but shale gas development in Eastern Europe can free these countries from the bullying tactics of Vladimir Putin.

In addition to geopolitical benefits, increased funding for the UGTEP can provide the U.S. with ancillary environmental benefits.  As we’ve seen in the U.S., natural gas can play an important role as a bridge fuel to help address climate change.  With electricity demand expanding significantly in countries like India, natural gas generation can serve as a lower-carbon alternative to coal while also providing a reliable, base-load source of power to these growing economies.  In addition, U.S. officials can help educate other countries on regulatory approaches to addressing casing and cementing standards, wastewater management, chemical disclosure and localized air emissions.  While there is strong opposition in some Eastern European countries to hydraulic fracturing, a coordinated effort by the State Department to help leverage U.S. knowledge and expertise can help countries develop robust regulatory regimes that provide the social license necessary for production to occur.

Click here to read the full article.

Scotty Greenwood Authors Article in iPolitics on Canada-U.S. Relations

McKenna Long’s Scotty Greenwood authored an article in iPolitics covering Canada-U.S. relations entitled: "Today’s border deal shows Canada-U.S. relations are just fine". 

The fact is we are great friends. We are doing a gigantic amount of business together. We are defending the continental airspace together. And we stand shoulder to shoulder in fighting against undemocratic, repressive ideas around the world.

Our governments are doing deals on border preclearance (like the one being announced today) and on regulatory harmonization. Our private sector is figuring out how to maximize the opportunities presented by new trading arrangements with Asia and with Europe. Our civil society advocates find common ground on the great challenges our world faces from empowerment of women and girls, to freedom of the press, to containing and fighting Ebola.

The two federal governments work together every day in almost every department. The private sector invests heavily in an integrated economy on this continent. Civil society collaborates on behalf of large societal challenges. And everyday citizens continue to live and work and vacation back and forth across the 49th parallel.

We do $1.4 million per minute in cross border commerce, a record amount of trade. We invest over $600 billion in each other’s economy every single year. Today’s preclearance agreement is evidence that material progress can still be made in the mechanics of how the two countries inter-relate even when there are some significant political level disagreements.

Click here to read the full article. 

Health Care Weekly Wrap-Up

Health Care Weekly Wrap-Up is our weekly look at developments affecting health care at the federal and state levels.

This week, HHS reported that 11.7 million people were signed up or automatically reenrolled for exchange coverage nationwide for 2015 and both houses of New York’s legislature released their budget proposals, with the Assembly eliminating a provision that would allow investment in hospitals from private equity groups.

Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States

Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States update is our weekly report on Health Insurance Exchange developments.

This week, top Republicans released draft legislation to extend funding for CHIP and in Utah, Republican Governor Gary Herbert’s Medicaid expansion proposal did not come up for a vote in the House after it was passed by the Senate.  Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States update is our weekly report on Health Insurance Exchange developments. This week, CMS reported late Friday afternoon that the agency was running behind schedule in its efforts to send corrected 1095-A forms and in Hawaii, a bill that would allow the Hawaii Health Connector to issue up to $28 million in bonds cleared both the House and Senate.