Health: Is there anything more important? In this episode, we examine three bills that moved through Congress in 2016 which would have a direct effect on the health of American citizens. Would the changes benefit you?
This episode is dedicated to the loving memory of Nathan Brightbill. He will be forever loved and missed.
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Bills Highlighted in this Episode
- Defunds the Prevention and Public Health Fund
- Rescinds money for States operating their own health insurance exchanges
- Eliminates the last year of a temporary fee to be paid by health insurance companies to fund care for “high risk individuals”
- Repeals limits on out of pocket health expenses for low income families
- Repeals the eligibility requirements for getting health care as individuals
- Repeals the advance payment of tax credits to help low income people pay for their individual premiums
- Eliminates the small business tax credit for companies with less than 25 employees and provide health insurance for their employees
- Eliminates the tax penalty for people who don’t get their own health insurance
- Eliminates the tax penalty for large employers who don’t provide their employees health insurance and backdates it to protect large companies who didn’t provide health insurance in 2015
- Cut off money to States that give money to any organization that provides abortions (Planned Parenthood)
- Greatly reduces the amount of money for Medicaid, which is health care for poor people
- Repeals the 2.3% Medical Device Tax on the manufactures of large medical equipment, even though it was suspended for two years by the omnibus
- Transfers over $379 billion from the Treasury to the Federal Hospital Insurance Fund, which is where our payroll taxes go and is used to fund Medicare.
Congressional Budget Office Report
- Rep. Tom Price of Georgia’s 6th district
- Medtronic Inc.: 6 times
- Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America: 15 times
- Represents drug companies and spent $18.4 million on lobbyists in 2015
- America’s Health Insurance Plans: 20 times
- US Chamber of Commerce: 41 times
H.R. 1927: Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2016 (FACT Act)
- Federal courts would be prohibited from certifying any class action lawsuit unless every person in the lawsuit has suffered “the same type and scope of injury” as the named class representative
- A trust set up for a company that has gone bankrupt but still owes money to claimants has to publicly report the name and exposure history of each person and the basis of the payments to that person
- The information would not include their “confidential” medical record or their social security number
- The trust would have to provide payment information or information about payment demands from the trust if the request is about liability of asbestos exposure
- These disclosure requirements would be valid for all Chapter 11 cases.
- Bob Goodlatte of Virginia’s 6th District
- Biggest contributor during his career has been the National Auto Dealers Association
- Property Casualty Insurers Association of America: 8 times
- US Chamber of Commerce: 6 times
- Honeywell International: 3 times
Amends disclosure requirements for chain restaurants with more than 20 locations
- Instead of requiring the restaurants to display “the number of calories in the standard menu item, as usually prepared and offered for sale”, the restaurant would be given the choice to display:
- The number of calories in the whole item
- The number of servings and the calories per serving or
- The number of calories per however the restaurant chooses to divide it
- Restaurants where “the majority” of orders are placed by off-premises customers, the restaurant may choose to only provide nutrition information by “a remote-access menu” (such as a menu available on the Internet) as the sole method of disclosure instead of on-premises writings”
- Allows buffet and self-serve restaurants to publish nutrition information on the Internet instead of on a sign adjacent to each food, if they choose to.
- Nutrition information “shall be treated as having a reasonable basis even if such disclosures vary from actual nutrient content”
- Regulations for enforcing this bill will have to be created within a year. The bill then prohibits any regulations regarding nutritional information at restaurants, including regulations that have already taken affect, from taking effect until 2 years after the new regulations are done, killing all nutritional information requirement for three years.
- Restaurants will not have to have their nutritional information certified for accuracy.
- Restaurants “shall not be liable in any civil action in Federal or State court” for violating nutritional information laws.
- Passed the House of Representatives 266-144
- Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington’s 5th district
Sound Clip Sources
- Hearing: Rules Committee Hearing H.R. 712, 1155, SA to H.R. 3762, Rules Committee January 5th, 2016
- Hearing: H.R. 1927, the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015, April 29, 2015
- Commercial (YouTube): Domino’s Pizza Turnaround
- Article: Ford spent $40 million to reshape asbestos science by Jim Morris, Center for Public Integrity, February 16, 2016.
- Article: Absestos class action bill faces hurdles by Mark Hofmann, Business Insurance, January 17, 2016.
- Article: Domino’s Just Unveiled a Radical Pizza Delivery Car That Took 4 Years to Build by David Gianatasio, October 22, 2015.
- Article: Honeywell agrees to settle Jersey City chromium lawsuit for $10 million by Michelangelo Conte, The Jersey Journal, June 9, 2015.
- Article: Honeywell Hit With $10.9M Verdict in Asbestos Suit by Igor Kossov, Law360, June 2, 2014.
- Article: The Asbestos Scam, Part 2 by Joe Nocera, New York Times, January 12, 2014.
- United States Government Accountability Office Report: Asbestos Injury Compensation: The Role and
Asbestos Trusts , September, 2011.
- Article: Virginia jury hands down $25M verdict in asbestos case, by Jason L. Kennedy, March 20, 2011.
- Article: Honeywell Says Asbestos Verdict Was More Thank It Had Disclosed by Alex Berenson, New York Times, April 18, 2002.
- Article: Health Industry Sees Wish List Made Into Law, Robert Pear, NYT, Dec 6, 1999.
Music Presented in This Episode
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