Obama administration officials never improperly interfered with the deliberations regarding standards it recommended for implementing the healthcare reform law, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) said in response to a congressional inquiry.
“While there were some instances when HHS officials expressed their interpretations of Congress’ intent, particularly with respect to the definition of ‘federal taxes’ in the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) calculation, or provided suggestions regarding a starting point for defining ‘activities that improve health care quality,’ at no time did HHS officials state or imply that they would refuse to certify our recommendations if we did not follow their interpretation,” the letter said.
The NAIC response was in the form of a letter to Republican members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. The letter was dated Jan. 12. More documents from the NAIC are forthcoming, and that the E & C Committee originally asked for a reply by Dec. 19th.
The letter specifically responded to questions as to whether HHS officials dictated the rules the NAIC forwarded to the HHS on the medical loss ratio and certain tax issues related to the healthcare reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA.)
The information was requested in a letter sent to the NAIC Dec. 7 by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the E&C panel; Rep. Joe R. Pitts, R-Pa., chairman of the panel’s Health Subcommittee; and Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of panel’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.
The letter was signed by the NAIC executive committee. This included Susan Voss, Iowa commissioner and NAIC president last year.
Upton, Pitts and Stearns sent the letter to Voss, former NAIC president Jane Cline (now in private practice as a lawyer in West Virginia), and Praeger, who works extensively on NAIC health insurance committee work, and heads the NAIC Healthcare Task Force.
Kevin McCarty, the new NAIC president, also signed on to the letter.