Ritter Insurance Marketing, Craig Ritter

NAHU Operation Shout Regarding Medicare Advantage regulations

Two weeks ago, we communicated to you a federal “Operation Shout” campaign addressed to the U.S. Senate in order to make our voices heard about overly broad marketing rules for Medicare private insurance sales.Thanks in part to your grassroots mobilization, the procedural vote on the legislative measure (S. 3101)―which did not go through the normal committee process―was not agreed to (Senate roll call vote # 149).    Today, we are mobilizing a similar Operation Shout addressed to the U.S. House of Representatives, which is scheduled to vote TOMORROW (June 24) on similar legislation (H.R. 6331). The new legislation is similar in aiming to address a number of Medicare provider and beneficiary issues. Among its many provisions are reductions in private Fee for Service Medicare Advantage funding, and also statutory changes to the rules governing allowable conduct in marketing and selling private insurance products to Medicare beneficiaries.Your constituent input is extremely important on this, given the short time frame and also given the fact that the vote is expected to be very close. The House leadership has decided to consider this bill on its Suspension Calendar, which is typically reserved for non-controversial measures and requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  NAHU shares concerns about reported abuses by unsurupulous actors in our industry, and is supportive of improving oversight and accountability in this area.However, we strongly believe the proper venue for considering such policy changes is through the public comment rule making process already underway through CMS’ proposed regulations (42 CFR Parts 422 and 423). NAHU is in the process of finalizing comments for submission by July 15, 2008. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration and devotion to help preserve Medicare beneficiaries’ timely and convenient access to licensed professional health insurance agents and brokers.

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