Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekend Update

The House and the Senate are in session this week as the leadership of the two bodies work with the President to cut a deal on raising the debt limit. The Washington Post reports that the White House negotiations ended tonight after 80 minutes. The discussions will continue tomorrow. The President has said that the negotiators have 10 days to reach an agreement in order for Congress to enact the required legislation before August 2. That is the day according to the Administration that the federal government will begin to default on its obligations according to Reuters..

Kaiser Health News reports that major health insurers are pressing the Department of Health and Human Services to exempt ex-patriate plans from the minimum loss ratio rules because plans covering overseas members necessarily have higher administrative costs "as a result of having to cover emergency evacuations, lining up providers in other countries and paying claims in a variety of currencies."  A temporary exemption expires at the end of this year. While there are no FEHB plans that are limited to overseas members, there are FEHB plans, such as the Foreign Service Benefit Plan, that cater to federal employees and annuitants working and living overseas.

HHS announced on Friday that nearly 4,500 organizations, including over 2,000 hospitals, have joined the Partnership for Patients, a public-private coalition launched earlier this year to improve health care quality and safety.

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