Legislative / Regulatory

Health care reform: What’s in it … and what’s not

Healthcare Health care reform is the law of the land. The U.S. Senate saw to that by passing a series of "fixes" in the reform bill approved earlier by the House and signed by President Obama.

In response, the folks at CCH have compiled a summary of the fixes and an examination of the final reform act.

The act's impact on the world of finance is clear. In the second paragraph of its briefing, CCH reports the following:

"The IRS is responsible for overseeing a significant part of health care reform, such as the administration of additional taxes and penalties on individuals and employers, determinations of various exemptions from those taxes, and oversight of new information reporting requirements. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman has said that one of the agency’s first priorities will be guidance on the new small business tax credit for health insurance coverage."

Read the CCH briefing in its entirety.

Meanwhile, throughout the rest of the finance world, questions remain. Like everyone else, CFOs see good points and bad in the reform act. Their biggest concern, though, lies in what's not in the bill. Writes CFO.com's Alix Stuart:

"Even finance chiefs who are in favor of the reform say a key issue was left unaddressed: the rising cost of health care. 'I can certainly see the benefits of making health-care insurance more readily available to everyone, and as a U.S. citizen, I'm glad to see that,' says Cal Stuart, CFO of water and air treatment equipment maker Rainsoft. But he adds that while the new law 'addresses the area of availability, it doesn't seem like it's really addressed the issue we're facing, which is the continued increase in health-care costs.'"

Stuart examines that claim in detail in the CFO.com article, "Reacting to reform." Read it, then tell us: What do you think of the new health care legislation?

Learn more at 'National Health Care: Government Savior or Budget Buster?'
Join us from 1 to 2 p.m. on April 7 for a lively discussion of health care policy and its pragmatic implications, including a review of past initiatives, an assessment of the current state of the public and private insurance markets, and an analysis of the federal government's ability to maintain national standards in a cost-effective manner. Get details and register for either the Second Life session or the webcast.


Bill Sheridan