Tag: Donald Trump

Newsmax | Will Trump Get Ambulance Services Needed Pay From Government?

By John Gizzi via Newsmax.com

Although President Donald Trump promised Newsmax earlier this month that he would “certainly look into it,” several ambulance professionals and their representatives have since told us they have seen none of the operating funds in question from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Continue Reading on Newsmax.com

Presidential Proclamation on EMS Week 2020

President Donald J. Trump released the  Proclamation below honoring mobile healthcare during EMS Week, May 17–23, 2020.

During Emergency Medical Services Week, we honor all of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers who play such a critical role in our Nation’s health and safety.  These incredible professionals respond to daily calls for urgent assistance and work tirelessly to serve their communities.  Most recently, they have made significant contributions and immeasurable sacrifices during our Nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most daunting and demanding challenges the country has ever faced.  This week, we recognize these heroic men and women for their efforts to deliver life‑saving care and compassion to their fellow Americans, and we acknowledge that our country is a safer and healthier place because of their work.

EMS providers — many of whom are volunteers — make up a coordinated and comprehensive network of highly trained workers.  They are prepared to respond immediately to any crisis with pre‑hospital assessment, trauma care, and medical transport, and they also share valuable data with their public health partners.  They do all of this under incredible pressure that can take an emotional and physical toll on even the most seasoned professionals.  At a moment’s notice, these dedicated men and women rush to employ their specialized knowledge, experience, and leadership to reduce the severity of injuries and save lives, often in very high-risk situations.  Every day, EMS personnel stand ready to help those in peril, responding faithfully to the needs of their fellow citizens when lives are on the line and every second matters.

The far-reaching and devastating scope of the coronavirus pandemic has increased the demands on our Nation’s EMS professionals, including those from our military service branches.  These heroes have courageously risen to the challenge.  They remain undeterred in their efforts to deliver critical assistance to their fellow Americans.  EMS personnel are often the first point of contact with patients who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms.  Acting quickly and decisively, they evaluate and triage patients, transport them to hospitals or treatment facilities, and clearly and compassionately communicate with family members who are anxious about their loved ones.  During this unprecedented time in our Nation’s history, we are ceaselessly inspired by the sense of duty, selfless service, and sacrifice that epitomize EMS personnel.

This week, we honor all who provide emergency medical services across our country for their tenacity and life‑saving skills.  Thanks to their incredible efforts, our communities and our Nation are stronger, safer, and more resilient.  Especially in these trying times, we are immensely proud of these brave Americans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 17 through May 23, 2020, as Emergency Medical Services Week.  I encourage all Americans to observe this occasion by showing their support for local EMS professionals through appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

Tax Bill Signals Benefit Changes—But Which Ones?

This has been an unbelievably crazy year in American politics and in the American workplace. While many Americans are considering how the Trump Administration Tax Reform Bill will impact their personal lives, employers need to stay focused on how this will impact their organizations and their employees.  The proposed changes will have a significant impact on how certain workplace benefits are treated and employers will need to begin to analyze how these changes will impact their financial planning. This article from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) summarizes the changes in the different versions of the tax reform Bills. As always, we will continue to monitor the movement of both versions and assist AAA members with preparing for the final changes.

Executive Order on Association Health Plans (AHP)

Yesterday, the White House announced that President Trump has signed an Executive Order that directs the Secretary of Labor to consider expanding access to Association Health Plans (AHP) would give employers the right to form groups in multiple states for the purposes of negotiating health care benefits.  A change would require an change to the interpretation of Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA).  In addition, the Executive Order directed the Departments of the TreasuryLabor, and Health and Human Services to consider changing several ACA restrictions, including low-cost short term limited duration insurance (STDLI) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs).  This Executive Order may impact the ACA insurance markets because it may attract the younger and healthier away from current plan groups causing those coverage costs to increase substantially.

Trump Administration Interim HHS Rule

In a surprising announcement by the Trump Administration late Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the Administration released an interim rule that rolled back the Obama Administration rules regarding the requirement of employer sponsored health plans to pay for “preventative services” which included birth control and abortion procedures under religious or moral objections. The move has initiated legal action by the Attorney General in Massachusetts who announced yesterday that she has filed a suit in U.S. District Court yesterday.

Key facts about the interim final rules:

  • The regulations exempt entities only from providing an otherwise mandated item to which they object on the basis of their religious beliefs or moral conviction.
  • The regulation leaves in place preventive services coverage guidelines where no religious or moral objection exists. The Administration is asserting that out of millions of employers in the U.S., these exemptions would only impact about 200 entities.
  • Current law itself already exempts over 25 million people from the preventive-care mandate because they are insured through an entity that has a health insurance plan that existed prior to the Obamacare statute.
  • The regulations leave in place government programs that provide free or subsidized contraceptive coverage to low income women, such as through community health centers.
  • These regulations do not ban any drugs or devices.
  • The mandate as defined by the previous administration suffered defeats in court after court, including the Supreme Court, which ruled that the government cannot punish business owners for their faith.

Employers can read the final version of the interim rule. With certainty, there will be numerous legal challenges regarding these rules. We will keep our members updated regarding these new rules and the legal challenges as they develop.

Trump Healthcare Transition Analysis

President-elect Donald Trump is naming more members of his transition team as he prepares to form his cabinet and key White House position.  In the healthcare arena Andrew Bremberg will take the lead on transition issues related to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Bremberg, who has been working on the Trump transition team since the Republican National Convention in July, worked at HHS for nearly eight years under the George W. Bush Administration. Bremberg later advised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on health policy and served on Mitt Romney’s transition team in 2012. Most recently, he worked on Scott Walker’s health care team during the Wisconsin governor’s presidential campaign.  He is viewed as a traditional inside professional with a strong working knowledge of the health care system.

The Trump transition team is currently focused on cabinet-level picks. Candidates to become HHS Secretary in the new Administration reportedly include:  Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and former GOP presidential candidate; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; Rich Bagger (we previously worked with him when he was at Pfizer and we represented the company), executive director of the Trump Transition team and a pharmaceutical executive; and Florida Gov. Rick Scott,  Congressman Tom Price (GA), a Member of the House Ways & Means Committee, has also expressed interest in being Secretary.

Topping the list of health care priorities for Congressional Republicans is repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. The GOP will likely seek to pass a budget resolution, and then a reconciliation bill to repeal major portions of the health law, including the individual and employer mandates and various taxes. The budget reconciliation process will allow the Senate to advance a repeal bill with only a 51-vote majority.  Both a FY 17 and FY 18 reconciliation bills are possible

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) is expected to remain as Ways and Means Committee Chairman, and Rep. Pat Tiberi as Chairman of the Health Subcommittee. Republicans will need to fill a few seats on the Committee; Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) lost his Senate race, while Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) won his. Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL) lost his re-election bid.  On the Democratic side, it is not clear whether the six seats gained by the Democrats will change the Committee ratios in any way.  Brian Higgins will likely regain his seat on the Ways & Means Committee to fill one of the seats vacated by Charlie Rangel and Jim McDermott.  A fair number of Members on both the Republican and Democratic side are lobbying for positions on the key Ways & Means Committee.

We will continue these updates as we collect additional information on the Trump transition, particularly as it looks at sub-cabinet level positions in HHS and CMS.  I have attached for folks’ review, the Ways & Means Committee document, A Better Way, which discusses their replacement for the ACA and is probably the best starting point for those looking to begin to discern what repeal and replace will look like.  We will provide more updates on this process as they begin to take shape.