The time is now here – President Obama has left and President-elect Donald Trump has taken office. Whether you are ready or not, changes are about to happen.
At DecisionHR, we have been monitoring the transition closely and we have a few predictions of what will soon take place now that President Donald Trump has taken office:
Affordable Care Act
Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders have announced repeatedly their intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Washington watchers still expect that Trump will try to pass a measure to repeal the ACA outright. That effort, however, will assuredly face a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, which would require at least 60 votes to overcome—and Republicans have only 52 Senate votes in the new Congress.
For the parts of the ACA that are not directly related to federal spending, such as the insurance market reforms, it has been said that Republicans may start negotiating with Democrats on changing the law in ways that can attract enough senators from both parties to reach the 60-vote threshold.
Delving into these matters, health benefit specialists shared possible scenarios to repeal and replace ACA at a December policy forum hosted by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington, D.C.
If the Repeal Bill Is Happening:
Most predictions say that taxes imposed by the ACA on employers will “go away.” But once they pass the repeal, they won’t work on a replacement for two or three years, because the Democrats need to be brought to the table, and they’ll never cut a deal until the end of the congressional session.
Repeal and Replace Will Be Piecemeal
“I do think they’ll pass a repeal bill, but I would speculate that they’ll try to do pieces of replace along with repeal,” said Katy Spangler, senior vice president, for the American Benefits Council.
With all that being said, on Jan. 3, Republicans introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate to set up a reserve fund for future health care legislation under an ACA replacement bill, based on savings to be derived from the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
While measures passed through the budget reconciliation process, the process must be budget neutral. The resolution and related rules would give special protection to bills repealing or “reforming” the ACA, even if such bills cause a temporary increase in spending.
Big changes are coming and we want to keep you updated on what is to be said for the future of the ACA.
As the year begins, the future also looks uncertain for the overtime rule.
While the rule was preliminarily blocked by a federal district court on Nov. 22, 2016, that injunction has been appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. However, the Trump administration may withdraw that appeal and allow the preliminary injunction to become permanent. Final briefs in the case are due after Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Another possibility: Congress could roll back the overtime regulations, said Alfred Robinson, Jr., an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Washington, D.C. The new Department of Labor might start rulemaking all over again to raise the exempt salary level from $26,660 to a lower level—not the final rule’s $47,476, he noted.
Brett Bartlett, an attorney with Seyfarth Shaw in Atlanta, said he was reluctant to predict the outcome of the overtime rule at this point. “The appellate judges bring their common sense to their determination of matters like this—and some have argued that it doesn’t make sense that the district court would overturn what could be viewed simply as a change to a salary requirement that has been around for more than seven decades,” he noted. While the requirement has been present for decades, prior to the 2016 barred increase, it was last raised in 2004 during President George W. Bush’s administration.
As changes come into the White House, DecisionHR is here to keep you updated, so you understand how this can affect your business.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call us at 727-572-7331 .