Washington Update

Majority Republican Congress to Take Aim at the ACA

ACA, Legislation, House, Senate | Permanent link

When the new Republican majority of the 114th Congress takes office in January, President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will be in the direct line of fire. Whether that means a full repeal or simply making some internal changes to the law is not yet clear. 

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)... Click Here To Read More

ACA’s Medical Device Tax Likely to Come Under Attack

ACA, Legislation, House, Senate | Permanent link

A 2.3% excise tax on medical devices created to finance parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stands a far better chance of being repealed under the newly elected Republican Congress. The tax has already been targeted by Senate Majority Leader-elect, Mitch McConnell (D-KY), and many Democrats who have said they want the tax repealed as... Click Here To Read More

Fisher Case May Be Headed Back to Supreme Court

Education | Permanent link

The long-running battle between the University of Texas at Austin and Abigail Fisher reached another milestone in November when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit turned down a request for the entire 15-person appeals court to rehear the case. Fisher’s attorney said the case will now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.... Click Here To Read More

Oklahoma Asks Supreme Court to Hear State’s Challenge to ACA Insurance Subsidies

ACA | Permanent link

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the state’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance subsidies requirement when the court hears arguments in King v. Burwell, No. 14-114 (U.S. Nov. 7, 2014). The Supreme Court agreed on November 7 to hear King v. Burwell, which... Click Here To Read More

House Democrats Call for Restoration of NIH Budget

Funding, Legislation, House | Permanent link

More than half of the 201 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi requesting that funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) be restored to its... Click Here To Read More

Student Financial Aid and Private Loans

Legislation, Education | Permanent link

The problem began in 2005, when Congress passed legislation that makes it almost impossible to discharge student debt through bankruptcy. Many student advocates say the system is clearly broken and that only Congress can fix it. The best solution, some say, is to force private loan companies to act like mortgage companies, which are... Click Here To Read More

Sen. Harkin Introduces Higher Education Affordability Act

Legislation, Education | Permanent link

In one of his last acts before leaving the Senate, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released an 874-page bill that reauthorizes the Higher Education Act, the principal law that governs college and... Click Here To Read More

Negotiations Continue on Appropriations as December Deadline Looms

Legislation | Permanent link

With the federal government currently funded by a continuing resolution that is set to expire on December 11, there is a raft of political maneuvering in Congress over whether to pass an omnibus spending bill for the current fiscal year or to simply maintain current funding with another stopgap continuing resolution.

Much depends on... Click Here To Read More

Ranking House Committee Members for New Congress Announced

House | Permanent link

The leader of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi (CA), has announced the ranking members of six major House committees in the upcoming 114th Congress. The only new ranking member of the six is New Jersey’s Frank Pallone, first elected in 1988, who will become the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee following... Click Here To Read More

Canada Makes Changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act

Canada, Legislation | Permanent link

Ontario dentists are applauding the province’s new smoking ban, which takes effect on January 1, 2015. Changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act brought about the smoking ban. The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) is praising the ban on smoking in bar and restaurant patios, playgrounds and public sport fields. In addition, the sale of tobacco... Click Here To Read More

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