THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 2017

House Meets At:First Vote Predicted:Last Vote Predicted:

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes”
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.4:00 – 5:00 p.m. 

H.Res. 242 – Rule providing for consideration of H.R. 1219 – Supporting America’s Innovators Act of 2017 (Rep. McHenry – Financial Services) (One hour of debate). The Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services.  The Rule allows one motion to recommit and waives all points of order against the legislation.  Members are urged to VOTE NO.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 1304 Self-Insurance Protection Act (Rep. Roe – Education and the Workforce) (One hour of debate).  The bill would clarify that stop-loss insurance coverage could not be defined as health insurance, thereby ensuring that stop-loss plans cannot be regulated with the standards enforced for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Stop-loss insurance is used by employers for self-insured plans to protect the employer from excessive losses, but stop-loss plans are not expected to adhere to state-mandated benefit requirements and are exempt from ACA provisions like health insurer fees. 

Republicans are bringing H.R. 1304 to the floor in response to something that is not an issue.  They are trying to prevent the Federal government from regulating stop-Loss insurance, but that is not happening.  During the Obama Administration, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury issued a “Request for Information Regarding Stop Loss Insurance,” in order to better understand the impact of Stop-Loss coverage on patients and employers.  Since that study, the Federal government has not taken any steps to regulate this sort of coverage.

Nearly two weeks after Republican Leadership was unable to bring their TrumpCare bill to the Floor, they are now considering H.R. 1304 under the guise of “Phase 3” of their health care plan.  It is notable that, not only have the failed to complete Phase 1 or Phase 2, but this bill is attempting to “fix” a problem that doesn’t exist.  Clearly, this bill is an attempt to fill Floor time, since this is a bipartisan bill that will pass overwhelmingly and therefore should have been brought to the Floor as a suspension bill.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Bill Text for H.R. 1304:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 1304:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

Suspensions (2 bills)

  1. H.R. 1667 – Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act of 2017, as amended (Rep. Marino – Judiciary)
  2. S. 544 – To amend the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to modify the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program, and for other purposes. (Sen. Tester – Veterans’ Affairs)

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
The GOP Leadership has announced the following schedule for Thursday, April 6: The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business.  The House is expected to complete consideration of H.R. 1219 – Supporting America’s Innovators Act of 2017 (Rep. McHenry – Financial Services).

 
The Daily Quote

“This will be the first time the Trump administration will be working with the GOP Congress to avoid a government shutdown… As demonstrated by their failure to repeal and replace ­ObamaCare, it’s still tough for House Republicans to pass critical legislation on their own.”

    -   The Hill, 4/5/2017