2017 NAHU Capitol Conference Recap
First and foremost, I would like to start off by saying thank you to the Arizona State and SAAHU Chapters for making it possible for me to visit our nation’s capital representing NAHU and the great work that they do.
Since I am currently sitting in the VP chair of the SAAHU Chapter, our leaders felt that it was important for me to participate in Sunday’s Leadership Forum (for chapter presidents-elect or other chapter board). The forum did not disappoint, as it was very informative with speakers offering tips and best practices of how to run a successful chapter. Each of us were placed at tables of 6 – 8 members from various states and we were encouraged to share ideas/experiences through group activities/interactions. One idea that I thought was good was instead of giving gift cards to guest speakers at local CE events, we could donate their gift to a local charity. This accomplishes two things: 1. It allows the speaker and organization he/she represents to make a donation & 2. It allows our local chapter to give back and help organizations in our local community. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.
Being a first timer, I attended the “First-Timers Meeting” on Monday which included speakers that work on the hill for NAHU. They gave us good advice on how to conduct ourselves when visiting members of congress in a face to face setting. The session covered dress code, proper etiquette and the “do’s and don’ts” when visiting with our representatives. The HUPAC President and President-Elect each stopped by to explain the importance of HUPAC and what it represents. This was especially helpful as I was not fully aware of everything that this committee does for the healthcare industry and broker community alike.
The General Sessions on both Monday and Tuesday did a nice job of providing us with facts and statistics (most of it alarming) on where health insurance in this country is headed. Janet Trautwein and her experienced team helped spread the message to our local representatives on Capitol Hill that stabilizing the insurance market is an absolute necessity. On behalf of NAHU and our local broker community, we had all gathered together in our nation’s capital to recommend the following items to our representatives:
- Individual Market
- Keep premium tax credits, cost-sharing tax credits and tax credits to territories until an alternative is available
- Allow tax credits to be used outside of the Marketplace if fewer than two choices are offered in a state
- Replace the ACA tax credit with an age-rated flat refundable and advanceable credit
- Allow any person to purchase catastrophic category coverage regardless of age or income status
- Stabilize the Market
- Adjust open enrollment rules
- Allow states to be eligible for funding for new hybrid high-risk pools
- Employer Based Market
- Allow the small business tax credit to continue for two years
- Increase flexibility for HSA’s
- Preserve the employer exclusion
- Tax and Other Repeals
- Repeal the Health Insurance Tax (H.R. 246)
- Repeal the Excise/Cadillac Tax (S.58 & H.R. 173)
- Repeal the Medical Loss Ratio Requirement
In addition to all of the great information and breakout sessions provided by NAHU, I was also able to network and meet likeminded healthcare professionals from all over the country. Even better, I also got to know new healthcare professionals that are in my own market!
Washington D.C. was everything I thought and hoped it would be. I highly recommend going on this trip when given the opportunity as I know that I will be going back for many years to come.