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Politics, Law and Policy Blog

Bipartisan policy insights and political intelligence

Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States

Posted in Health Policy

By Cindy Gillespie

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

Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States update is our weekly report on Health Insurance Exchange developments. This week, news out of Idaho confirmed that Your Health Idaho remains on track to transition to a State-based Marketplace this fall and the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange selected three Third Party Administrators (TPAs) to administer the exchange’s SHOP.

Lisa Ellman Quoted in the Associated Press

Posted in Federal, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

MLA’s Lisa Ellman was quoted in the Associated Press article, “Drones for moviemaking face likely FAA approval.”

Drones for moviemaking face likely FAA approval

The seven movie and television companies are regarded by agencies as trailblazers, the first of what are likely to be dozens of industries that could be approved in coming months for drone operations under limited circumstances.

“The floodgates will open and we’ll see all kinds of other entities looking to use these things,” said Lisa Ellman, an attorney with McKenna, Long & Aldridge, who formerly headed the Justice Department’s working group on drone policy.

But Brendan Schulman, a New York attorney who presents several drone operators and interest groups that have challenged the FAA’s drone restrictions, said he is concerned that limitations attached to the drone permits may be so onerous that the benefits of using the drones will be outweighed by the cost and the headache of complying with regulations.

Please click here to read the full article.

Eric Tanenblatt Quoted in Politico

Posted in Elections, Georgia

MLA’s Eric Tanenblatt was quoted in the Politico article, “GOP preps for battle after Election Day.”

GOP preps for battle after Election Day

Eric Tanenblatt, the former chief of staff to ex-GOP Gov. Sonny Perdue (who is David Perdue’s cousin), now heads the Senate Battleground Fund, a joint fundraising committee with the RNC and NRSC that is hosting a fundraiser in Atlanta with Mitt Romney next week and will almost certainly be active come time for a runoff.

While Tanenblatt said that a runoff in the Peach State has historically favored Republicans, all could change if control of the Senate would be determined by that race and if emboldened Democrats pull off a dramatic upset in the governor’s race, energizing the party for Nunn.

“These runoffs are going to be very expensive,” Tanenblatt said.

Click here to read the full article.


MLA’s UAS Event Featured in Atlanta Business Chronicle

Posted in Federal, Georgia, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

MLA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Breakfast Briefing held in the Atlanta office on Tuesday, September 23, was featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle article, “Commercial drones will mean big business for Georgia.”

Commercial drones will mean big business for Georgia

The soon-to-be-launched commercial drones industry will create more than 2,000 jobs in Georgia during its first three years while generating an economic impact of $379 million, an aerospace leader predicted Tuesday.

The Georgia Center for Innovation for Aerospace, an arm of the state Department of Economic Development, has been working since 2009 to lay the groundwork for commercializing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Steve Justice, the center’s director, told attendees at a briefing on drones held at the Atlanta office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.


MLA Partner Mark Dombroff was also quoted in the article.

With the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta and both the film and agricultural industries clamoring for the go-ahead to use UAVs, Georgia has a chance to capitalize on the emerging UAV industry, said Mark Dombroff, a McKenna Long partner and head of the firm’s Unmanned Aerial Services (UAS) practice.

“I think Georgia has the opportunity to step forward and become the premier UAS environment in the nation,” Dombroff said.

Eric Tanenblatt and Jeremy Berry Mentioned on Political Insider

Posted in Elections, Georgia

MLA’s Eric Tanenblatt and Jeremy Berry were mentioned in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Political Insider blog post today.

Republican insider Eric Tanenblatt reports that eight Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, four men and four women, will drop through Georgia this week, now that Congress is in recess, to boost Republican David Perdue’s lead in the polls.


A tipster passed along an invite to the candidate’s parlor meeting on Sunday at a Sandy Springs eatery featuring Jewish machers, including banking bigwig Joel Arogeti, businessman and former Senate candidate Michael Coles and party insider Jeremy Berry.

Click here to read the full post.

Health Insurance Exchanges: State of the States

Posted in Health Policy

By Cindy Gillespie

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

This week, at the board meeting for MNsure it was announced they are pressing onward with their updates despite an announcement from PreferredOne that they had chosen not to remain in the Marketplace, at Thursday’s board meeting for the California Health Benefit Exchange it was announced that caller wait times at Covered California’s Service Centers had increased and the Connecticut Health Benefit Exchange heard an update on forthcoming IT improvements for this fall

Weekly Health Care Wrap-Up

Posted in Health Policy

By Cindy Gillespie

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

This week, federal statistics showed the uninsured rate is returning to pre-recession levels, CMS announced they are continuing efforts to rectify exchange data inconsistencies and CMS Administrator Tavenner testified in Congress, providing data on exchange enrollment.

Cindy Gillespie Quoted in Bloomberg

Posted in Health Policy

MLA’s Cindy Gillespie was quoted in the Bloomberg article, “U.S. Health System Among Least Efficient Before Obamacare.”

U.S. Health System Among Least Efficient Before Obamacare

The U.S. health-care system was among the least efficient in the developed world two years before major changes from Obamacare began to go into effect.

America’s health-care system ranked 44th of 51 nations assessed by Bloomberg, in terms of per person spending, life expectancy and health-care cost as a percentage of the economy. It’s an improvement from 46th of 48 last year, yet Serbia, Turkey and China still scored better.

Singapore, with the top ranking, spent $2,426 per person and had a life expectancy of 82.1 years in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available. In comparison, the U.S. shoveled cash into health care — $8,895 per person, per year — and Americans are expected to live for 78.7 years.

There’s a lack of accountability among Americans, according to policy experts. “We keep protecting individuals from the health-care costs that come from the fact that we don’t have healthy lifestyles,” Cindy Gillespie, a senior managing director at the law and policy firm McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. “We haven’t accepted that people have an element of personal responsibility around their health.”

Click here to read the full article.

Thurbert Baker and Robin Conrad to Present on Litigation Funding at PLAC Conference on October 16

Posted in Attorneys General

MLA’s Thurbert Baker (retired Attorney General for the State of Georgia) and Robin Conrad (retired Executive Vice President of the National Chamber Litigation Center) will present at the October 16-17 Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC) Conference.  Their presentation will address recent trends in third-party litigation funding, an ethical quagmire that empowers abusive litigation by plaintiffs.

PLAC (www.plac.org) is a non-profit organization that helps the world’s leading manufacturers, distributers and retailers minimize the cost of litigation by anticipating challenges in an increasingly complex legal environment.  MLA Partner, Dara Mann, is a member of the PLAC Board of Directors and is co-chair of the PLAC Fall Conference.