Updates from D.C.—Trick or Treat?

Earlier this week, I attended a Health & Welfare update in Washington, D.C.

With the midterm elections looming, this is an exciting time!

Just for fun, I’ve highlighted some Capitol Hill insider opinions below:

  • The Democrats are expected to regain control over the House after November 6. All signs point in that direction, but this is not always the best indicator as we discovered when Trump was elected.  It’s an interesting thought that Nancy Pelosi may be back as the Speaker of the House. One prediction is that the Democrats will want a wide margin before attempting to put Pelosi back in the house. If the Democrats don’t have the numbers, we might expect to see a safer choice as Speaker of the House.
  • The Republicans are expected to retain their majority in the Senate.
  • If the split between both parties stays close, the feeling is that the Republicans are done trying to move their Affordable Care Act (ACA) initiatives forward. Thus, no more repeal and replace efforts for the next two years.
  • Tax Reform 2.0 is rattling around on the Hill, and it would make the individual tax cut permanent. As you may remember, this is set to expire in 2025. The corporate tax cut was enacted as permanent, but the individual tax cut needed an expiration date to fit into the reconciliation bill. So far, the proposed Tax Reform 2.0 is expected to sit until after the election.
  • Cadillac Tax: it’s expected that this can will continue to be kicked down the road. A full repeal seems unlikely for one significant reason:  to fully repeal, Congress would have to offset the amount of money that the tax was predicted to bring in as revenue.  However, the general consensus is that the tax has issues and not many want to see it implemented.
  • The Health Spending Account (HSA) expansion efforts are likely to continue. This is a bipartisan effort, although, the two parties aren’t on the exact same page.  We are still waiting for the Senate to vote on the latest HSA Expansion effort which passed the House. The efforts are being focused on expanding the flexibility under the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) which would mean, among other things, allowing more to be covered prior to the deductible being met. Stay tuned!
  • The proposed health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) regulations were a major topic at the Health & Welfare update in D.C. I released a blog on that last week which can be found by clicking here.



About Michelle Cammayo

Michelle Cammayo has more than 13 years of Employee Benefits experience specializing in all lines of health and welfare benefits. Today, Michelle works closely with clients and partners to provide guidance in areas of the law including ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA and PPACA. She also oversees the Compliance Department at Bolton & Company to ensure we are helping our clients manage and eliminate risk with regards to employee benefit compliance.

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