TGIF

Here’s a link to the Week in Congress’s report on this week’s activities on Capitol Hill.  The FEHBlog noticed on the House Rules Committee website that the House of Representatives is beginning the process of striking down certain recent Obama administration regulations, such as the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule, under the Congressional Review Act.  (A federal judge struck down the more onerous parts of that rul  at the end of December.) Kim Strassel of the Wall Street wrote a column today discussing the intriguing features of this underutilized law.

The Wall Street Journal also reported today that “Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.), the interim chairwoman of the House Budget Committee, told reporters Wednesday she expected the legislation repealing [and replacing] the health-care law would come to the House floor by late February or early March.”  Reuters tells us about insurance company efforts to shape healthcare re-reform.

Healthcare Dive reports that according to an American Well survey 20% of us are willing to switch primary care doctors in order to visit their doctor on a telehealth service. Not surprisingly,

Most willing to switch doctors were parents of children under age 18 and 35 to 44 year olds, the survey shows. Moreover, 79% of consumers caring for an ill or aging family member felt video services would be helpful.

The FEHBlog is growing weary of the Chicken Littleism that abounds in the press over the impending ACA repeal. Modern Healthcare writes about how the repeal will bring an end to mental health care.  That’s ridiculous. To begin with, the federal mental health and substance abuse parity act was part of the Obama stimulus law enacted in early 2009, not the ACA which was enacted the following year. The 21st Century Cures Act which Congress passed in December 2016 supports the Obama Administration’s rule implementing the law.  Mental health coverage will not be reduced. In any event, I think that insurers and employers now understand the importance of mental health and substance abuse coverage. The ACA repeal will not occur in a vacuum.

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