Midweek update

As the blog of record for the FEHBlog, it’s the FEHBlog’s responsibility to link to the OPM Director’s initial Open Season blog post which occurred on Monday.

OPM also has posted its always interesting financial report for the most recently ended federal fiscal year September 30, 2016. Grant Thornton is OPM’s current CPA firm. Grant Thornton gave OPM a clean audit opinion (p. 47). Nevertheless, Grant Thornton issued a management letter (p. 49) which identified certain material weaknesses and a significant deficiency in internal controls, which generally relate to information management and security.   The Inspector General’s list of top management challenges begins on page 106. The FEHBP discussion in that list begins on page 110.  The OPM response to that list is found on page 133. Other information, including discusssion of improper payments, begins on page 124.

The Congressional Research Service has set the table for Congressional reconsideration of the Affordable Care Act by issuing a report on “Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act.”  From time to time over the next month or so, the FEHBlog will share his thoughts on key legislative changes. The first item that pops into the FEHBlog’s mind is leveling the income tax playing field so that everyone in the same tax bracket receives the same tax treatment for health benefits premiums.  President Obama boxed himself out of this approach by attacking Senator McCain for making this proposal back in 2008. As Professor Gruber has explained, this campaign exchange gave us the unworkable, counterproductive high cost plan excise or Cadillac tax and likely many of the multitude of ACA taxes.  Simplify, simplify, simplify.

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