Washington Weekly
Apr. 6, 2015

Last Week

The House and Senate were in recess.More

This Week

The House and Senate are in recess.More

Item of Interest

Last week ASA joined with others in the business community in advocating for legislation that would allow states to maintain the current definition of a small group market as being between 1 – 50 employees. Our concern is that if the provision stands under current law, the small group market will be defined as including businesses up to 100 employees, limiting choice in a number of states where choices of insurers can be limited. As our letter states, "while national insurers are in virtually every state's large group market, they are only in a portion of the small group markets – which have numerous administrative requirements for entry." The business groups endorsed legislation that would address our concerns, an issue ASA members will be advocating for next week at our annual Legislative Fly-in. See our letter here. More

'Cadillac Tax' the Next Big 'Obamacare' Battle
A mix of business groups and labor unions are pushing to tee up the next big "Obamacare" fight: killing its so-called Cadillac tax. It is, they say, the type of "Obamacare fix" that Republicans and Democrats can agree on — notwithstanding the problem of filling an $87 billion budget hole that nixing the levy would produce. Many expect it to be the next protracted battle over "Obamacare" — one that threatens to become a headache for Democrats, many of whom never liked the tax despite supporting the law more generally.More

Budget Fight Prefaces 2016 War
The Hill
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have armed themselves for the 2016 elections with votes on dozens of amendments to the GOP budget. Votes to increase funding for the Pentagon, grant benefits to same-sex couples and recognize that climate change is real were among the measures designed for next year's 30-second attack ads.More

The US Added Only 126,000 Jobs in March — But There Could Be Some Good News
National Journal
The new jobs report out April 3 has some headline-making, disappointing news: After months of high growth, there was a slowdown in March. But beneath the surface, the report has some good news on wages. And there could be more to come. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a jobs report showing the economy added 126,000 jobs for the month of March.More

Meet the New Boss. Not the Same as the Old Boss
Roll Call
Relationships are everything in the Senate, and Charles E. Schumer, the presumptive top Democrat in the next Congress, has them down pat. "Most senators have been there a while. They do have these strong relationships, and they're deep relationships, because they spend a lot of time together," said former Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del. Kaufman spent decades observing the chamber as a top aide for Joseph R. Biden Jr., and served alongside Schumer after being appointed to Biden's Senate seat from 2009 to 2010, after Biden became vice president.More