Legislative and Regulatory Updates
President Obama signed legislation on April 14 that repeals the Form 1099 reporting requirement included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Form 1099 provision of the law would have required all businesses and tax-exempt organizations to issue a Form 1099 for payments for goods and services that total $600 or more a year.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a proposed rule on April 17 that would implement section 3022 of the ACA relating to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). That section allows providers participating in ACOs to continue to receive Medicare fee-for-service payments under Parts A and B. In addition, if the ACO meets specified cost and quality benchmarks, providers would be eligible for additional payments. Comments on the proposed rule are due by June 6.
President Obama signed a budget agreement on April 15 that will continue funding the federal government through this fiscal year. The compromise between the House and Senate was nearly $13 billion, or 7.6 percent, below the president’s fiscal year 2011 budget request. As part of the agreement, funding for the ACA’s health insurance cooperatives program was cut by $2.2 billion and the free choice voucher program that would allow low-income workers to opt out of their employer-sponsored plans to obtain coverage through state health insurance exchanges was repealed.
In an April 13 address on reducing the deficit, President Obama proposed cutting the cost of government-provided health care by $340 billion over 10 years by strengthening the role of an Independent Payment Advisory Board, setting a lower target for Medicare growth, and reducing the federal contribution to Medicaid.
The House passed Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) fiscal year 2012 budget proposal (H. Con. Res. 34) on April 15. Ryan’s plan would repeal the ACA and would end Medicare for Americans who are currently age 55 or younger, replacing it with a voucher system which would give them a stipend to purchase private insurance when they reach Medicare eligibility. Medicaid would turn into a state block grant program. This proposal is not expected to pass the Senate.