This week, Democrats have been moving full steam ahead toward passage of health care reform legislation that would affect employers in many ways. Since the Democrats lost their supermajority in the U.S. Senate, many of their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives want to pass the Senate’s version of health care reform so the Senate doesn’t have to vote on another bill and encounter an inevitable Republican filibuster. House Democrats, however, don’t like the Senate legislation in its current form and don’t want to pass it without also passing a package of “fixes.”
Audio Conference: Health Care Reform Is Here: Impact and Answers for Employers offered April 22, May 6 and May 20
To get around this problem, House Democrats are reportedly going to approve a package of changes to the Senate legislation in a budget reconciliation bill. The Senate would then be able to pass the reconciliation bill by a simple majority vote instead of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. Since the Democrats will be using the reconciliation process, however, all provisions in the “fixes” bill must be related to the budget and meet certain requirements for reducing future deficits.
Many have predicted that the House will vote on the package of fixes this weekend. We will continue to keep you updated on its status and will report on the package of fixes and how it affects employers when it is released.
Also, you can keep up with the latest legal changes affecting employer benefits and trends in employee benefits with the Benefits Complete Compliance