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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.

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.

 

Scotty Greenwood to Moderate CABC Panel on September 17

Posted in Canada-U.S. Relations

 

Updated 9/17  -  Please see the complete CABC YouTube video here.

 

MLA’s Scotty Greenwood will serve as moderator at the September 17 Canadian American Business Council (CABC) event with Industry Minister James Moore.

The event will be streamed on YouTube and at cabc.co/live tomorrow (9/17) at 12:30pm. See the below for more details.

Industry Minister Moore to Visit Washington, D.C., to Promote Canada’s Economic Record

Washington, D.C., Tuesday, September 16, 2014—Industry Minister James Moore will travel to the U.S. capital this week where he will highlight Canada’s strong record of attracting investment and why Canada continues to be the number one country in the world to do business.

The Minister will participate in two days of meetings and events with representatives from the U.S. government, including Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, as well as representatives and senators at the Capitol building.

Minister Moore will deliver a keynote luncheon address during an event hosted by the Canadian American Business Council. Following his remarks, the Minister will participate in a moderated question and answer session.

For more information, please click here.

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, the Government Accountability Office released a report critiquing the approval process used by the Department of Health and Human Services for Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion waiver while a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that employer sponsored insurance premiums grew slightly from 2013 to 2014.

Stefan Passantino and Jeremy Berry Mentioned on Political Insider

Posted in Campaign Finance, Government Ethics

MLA’s Stefan Passantino and Jeremy Berry were mentioned on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Political Insider blog.

Stefan Passantino and Jeremy Berry, both of McKenna, Long & Aldridge, have sent word that the state ethics commission, despite the chaos within one half of the Twin Towers, has quietly put out some rule changes that will come up for a vote later this month. Click here to see them all.  Among the changes:

Regulates lobbying expenditures on behalf of a public official’s family member by stating that “Any money spent on a member of the family of a public official is deemed a lobbying expenditure on behalf of the public official and must be reported as such. For purposes of this Rule, a members of the family means a spouse and all dependent children.”

Adds a rule (consistent with the existing statute) that lobbyists cannot spend more than $75 per lobbying expenditure “per individual public officer.” The proposed rule permits one or more lobbyists to “split pro rata a lobbying expenditure” provided that a single lobbyist does not “exceed $75 per expenditure per individual public officer.”

In other words, a ratio of one lobbyist to one lawmaker would result in a $75 dinner. A ratio of two lobbyists to one lawmaker could produce a $150 dinner, and so on.

Click here to be directed to the post. 

Mark Burkhalter Authors Article on North Fulton.com and ZPolitics.com

Posted in Georgia, Tax Policy

MLA’s Mark Burkhalter‘s article, “Unemployment, tax reform should top 2015 legislative agenda,” was featured on NorthFulton.com and Zpolitics.com. 

Unemployment, tax reform should top 2015 legislative agenda

This spring, the business network CNBC ranked Georgia the No. 1 place to do business in the country for 2014. Unfortunately, as we wind down summer, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has posted shocking data. Our state’s unemployment rate not only worsened in July but is now the second worst in the country.

When ranked with the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Georgia falls only behind Mississippi in the number of citizens out of work and now looking for jobs.

We have an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent while the national rate is 6.2 percent. Some regions of the state have an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent.

Click here to read the complete article.

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, CMS disclosed that a hacker penetrated a server that houses one of the test environments for HealthCare.gov and the board for Cover Oregon discussed the future organizational status of the exchange, but adjourned before taking a vote.