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Government Watch

2012 Archives: Health and Family

AARP correspondence to lawmakers and regulators

The following documents related to the health care concerns of people 50-plus and their families are presented in reverse chronological order.

NOVEMBER

C: On November 6, 2012, AARP submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposed revisions to form CMS-10003, the Notice of Denial of Medical Coverage or Payment. The comments highlight the importance for older Americans to receive clear and concise information from their Medicare or Medicaid plans, especially if it is regarding denial of coverage or payment. (November 6) PDF

SEPTEMBER

C: To the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a proposed rule. In this notice of proposed rulemaking, the CMS proposes an update to the Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates and addresses other Medicare home health proposed changes. (Sept. 4) PDF

C: Regarding the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule. (Sept. 4) PDF

C: Regarding the proposed changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule and other revisions to Part B for calendar year 2013. (Sept. 4) PDF
 
C: Regarding the summary of proposed collection rule – specifically the single streamlined application for determining eligibility for individuals applying for coverage through the Exchanges, and for affordability assistance. (Sept. 4) PDF


AUGUST

C: To IRS Commissioner Shulman comments on the rule on “Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit.” (Aug. 21) PDF

JULY

C: To the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the “Solicitation of Public Input on Conversion of Net Income Standards to Equivalent Modified Adjusted Gross Income Standards.” (July 30) PDF

C: To the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the opportunity to comment on the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) “Verification of Access to Employer-Sponsored Coverage Bulletin.” (July 30) PDF

C: To the State Administration Branch regarding the proposed rule by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to amend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). (July 30) PDF

C: To the IRS regarding the proposed rule on “Regulations Pertaining to the Disclosure of Return Information to Carry Out Eligibility Requirements for Health Insurance Affordability Programs.” (July 30) PDF

L: To Senator Conrad (D-ND) endorsing his legislation entitled the "Craig Thomas Rural Hospital and Provider Equity Act of 2011" (S. 1680). (July 23) PDF

L: Response to Rep. Roe's (R-TN) letter seeking AARP’s opinion regarding the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). (July 17) PDF

L: To Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) thanking him for his leadership on the issue of Medicaid and ensuring our continued commitment to advocate at the federal and state levels for the nation's Medicaid population. (July 13) PDF

L: To Representatives Langevin (D-RI) and McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), in support of the bipartisan legislation, the “Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act” (H.R. 3266), which would reauthorize the important Lifespan Respite Care Act that helps support family caregivers who need respite care. (July 10) PDF

L: To the members of the U.S. House of Representatives expressing AARP’s opposition to the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). (July 9) PDF

C: To Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the notice of proposed rulemaking for the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Data Collection to Support Standards Related to Essential Health Benefits; Recognition of Entities for the Accreditation of Qualified Health Plans.” (July 5) PDF

JUNE

C: Comment letter on the proposed definition of a home and community-based “setting” as defined in section 441.530 of the Medicaid Program with the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL), a nonprofit collaborative of 11 national organizations (including AARP) that represent a unique blend of key stakeholders in assisted living. (June 29) PDF

L: To Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) of the Senate Finance Committee regarding Medicare and Medicaid programs and to offer ideas for improving program integrity. (June 29) PDF

C: To the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on proposed regulations regarding how to define a home and community-based setting in Medicaid, and thus where Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) can be provided. (June 29) PDF

L: To Senators Cornyn (R-TX) (PDF) and Klobuchar (D-MN) (PDF) supporting “The Guardian Accountability and Senior Protection Act” (S. 1744). (June 26)

C: To Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule. The letter was spearheaded by the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project. (June 25) PDF

L: To all the senators who supported Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) bipartisan Senate floor amendment #2156 that aimed to restore over $4.5 billion dollars to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) under the Senate Farm Bill reauthorization bill (S. 3240 — The Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012). (June 22) (PDF) ***Sen. Akaka attached as a sample. This letter was also sent to Senators Begich, Blumenthal, Boxer, Cantwell, Cardin, Casey, Coons, Feinstein, Gillibrand, Heller, Kerry, Lautenberg, Leahy, Levin, Lieberman, Menendez, Merkley, Mikulski, Murkowski, Murray, Reed, Reid, Rockefeller, Sanders, Schumer, Scott Brown, Shaheen, Sherrod Brown, Snowe, Tom Udall, Whitehouse and Wyden.

C: Comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) proposed rule to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased Medicaid payment rate for primary care providers. (June 11) PDF

L: Sign on letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate HELP and House Energy & Commerce Committees in support of the Senate FDA bill provision to prohibit branded companies from misusing the REMS process or restricted access programs to avoid generic and biosimilar competition. (June 6) PDF

L: Sign on letter with the Advancing Patient Safety Coalition to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate HELP and House Energy & Commerce Committees in support of the Senate FDA bill provision to establish a national unique device identification (UDI) system. (June 4) PDF

MAY

L: To House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), with the Health Choices Coalition, in strong support of H.R. 5842.  This legislation would repeal the provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring holders of tax-preferred healthcare accounts to obtain a physician’s prescription in order to use funds from those accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicines. (May 30) PDF

S: To the Senate Finance Committee regarding the hearing on “Progress in Health Care Delivery: Innovations From the Field.” (May 23) PDF

L: To Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Enzi (R-WY) in support of the Fair and Immediate Release of Generics Act (“FAIR GENERxICS Act of 2011”) to be included in the Food and Drug Safety and Innovation Act. (May 17) PDF

S: To the Senate HELP Committee regarding the hearing on “Identifying Opportunities for Health Care Delivery System Reform: Lessons from the Front Line.” (May 16) PDF

L: To the Senate expressing concerns with the budgets they were considering for debate. (May 16) PDF

L: To the House and Senate regarding the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (May 14) PDF

L: To the House expressing concerns with the House Reconciliation proposal pursuant to the FY 2013. (May 9) PDF

C: To the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the interim provisions of the rule published on March 27, 2012, related to establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans. (May 9) PDF

C: To Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the “Request for Information on Prescription Medication Adherence.” (May 7) PDF

C: To Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the Stage 2 criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals must meet to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive payments. (May 7) PDF

C: To Health and Human Services (HHS) on interim final rules on the Medicaid eligibility changes under the Affordable Care Act. (May 4) PDF

APRIL

S: To the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Health Subcommittee regarding the hearing on Medicare premium support proposals. (April 27) PDF

L: To Representatives Van Hollen (D-MD) and Braley (D-IA) endorsing the “Patient Safety and Drug Labeling Improvement Act,” which addresses the issue of whether generic drug manufacturers have a duty to include new warnings about potentially serious side effects on their labels as they become known. (April 18) PDF (Van Hollen), PDF (Braley)

C: To Health and Human Services (HHS) on the proposed rule implementing new section 1128J(d) of the Social Security Act, as added by section 6402(a) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to require Medicare providers of services and suppliers to report and return overpayments made to them under the Medicare program. (April 16) PDF

C: To the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the draft guidance documents on Biosimilar Product Development and, more specifically, on the implementation of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCI), which passed as part of the Affordable Care Act. (April 13) PDF

L: To Health and Human Services (HHS), with the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project, urging the administration to set the highest possible standards for public reporting and accountability related to hospital patient safety measures. (April 12) PDF

MARCH

L: To Sen. Leahy (D-VT) endorsing the "Patient Safety and Generic Labeling Improvement Act," which addresses the issue of whether generic drug manufacturers have a duty to include new warnings about potentially serious side effects on their labels as they become known. (March 30) PDF

C: To Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the Actuarial Value (AV) and Cost-Sharing Bulletin. (March 28) PDF

L: To all members of the House of Representatives regarding our concerns with the House Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. (March 21) PDF

C: To the Department of Labor (DOL) generally in support of requiring most employers of home care and home health aides to be paid minimum wage and overtime for the invaluable work they do to enable older adults to stay in their homes. The letter also identifies key points on which AARP advocates changes to make the regulations more user-friendly and more responsive to the needs of care consumers and their family caregivers. (March 21) PDF

L: To all House and Senate Chiefs of Staff, Health Legislative Aides and Social Security Legislative Aides to inform them of the “You’ve Earned a Say” launch on March 19. (March 15) PDF

C: To Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Treasury (DOT) regarding the final rule on “Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Uniform Glossary — Templates, Instructions, and Related Materials Under the Public Health Service Act.” (March 13) PDF

C: To the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) regarding the PCORI National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda. (March 13) PDF

C: To Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding “Discussion Draft #2, State-Specific Thresholds — Recommended Approach,” which describes a proposed process for establishing state-specific rate review thresholds. (March 12) PDF

C: To Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the 2013 Medicare Marketing Guidelines. (March 8) PDF

C: To Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Treasury (DOT) urging to not delay the implementation of the Summary of Benefits and Coverage rule within the Affordable Care Act. (March 7) PDF

C: To Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the 2013 Advance Notice and draft 2013 Call Letter for the Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug programs. (March 2) PDF

C: To Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the Medical Loss Ratio rebate notice instructions. (March 2) PDF

FEBRUARY

C: To the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement Registration proposed regulation and cease and desist issued pursuant to the Affordable Care Act. (Feb. 29) PDF

C: To the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the 2013 Medicare and You Handbook. (Feb. 27) PDF

C: To the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), with other groups, regarding regulation on Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs; Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership or Investment Interests. (Feb. 17) PDF

L: To Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) Co-Chair of the Republicans Doctors Caucus, in response to their February. 2 letter sent to AARP CEO A. Barry Rand, regarding ways to work with AARP and our nation’s seniors to develop approaches to strengthen the Medicare program. (Feb. 14) PDF

L: To the Chairs of the Conference Committee urging them to include, in any Conference Committee agreement, legislation to address the impending Medicare physician payment cuts, support a “clean” extension of unemployment insurance benefit, and oppose several elements of the House bill that would disproportionately hurt older workers. (Feb. 13) PDF

JANUARY

C: To Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the essential health benefits (EHB) bulletin outlining the intended regulatory approach that HHS will implement to fulfill the requirements of Section 1302 of the Affordable Care Act. (Jan. 31) PDF

L: To Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and Democratic Leader Pelosi (D-CA), with other organizations, to oppose legislation, H.R. 1173, to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program. (Jan. 31) PDF

L: To the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, with other organizations, regarding Wisconsin's request to waive the maintenance of effort provisions of the Affordable Care Act. (Jan. 26) PDF

L: To President Obama, with other organizations, expressing our strong interest in ensuring that the pending rule on the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) is promptly, effectively and fully implemented. (Jan. 23) PDF

L: To Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) of the House Ways and Means Committee, with other organizations, opposing H.R. 1173, which would repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program. (Jan. 17) PDF

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