S 650

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 650

To require greater transparency concerning the criteria used to grant waivers to the job-killing health care law and to ensure that applications for such waivers are treated in a fair and consistent manner, irrespective of the applicant's political contributions or association with a labor union, a health plan provided for under a collective bargaining agreement, or another organized labor group.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 17, 2011

Mr. ENSIGN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance


A BILL

To require greater transparency concerning the criteria used to grant waivers to the job-killing health care law and to ensure that applications for such waivers are treated in a fair and consistent manner, irrespective of the applicant's political contributions or association with a labor union, a health plan provided for under a collective bargaining agreement, or another organized labor group.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Health Care Waiver Transparency Act'.

SEC. 2. REQUIREMENTS WITH RESPECT TO GRANTING WAIVERS.

    (a) In General- The Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this section as the `Secretary') shall--

      (1) publish detailed criteria used by the Secretary to determine approval of an application submitted by a group health plan, health insurance issuer, employer, State, municipality, or other entity eligible for a waiver, adjustment, or other compliance relief provided for under the authority of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) or title I or subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Public Law 111-152), including--

        (A) how much of a significant decrease in benefits with respect to a health insurance plan or health insurance coverage would need to occur in order have such a waiver application approved by the Secretary; and

        (B) how much of a significant increase in premiums with respect to a health insurance plan or health insurance coverage would need to occur to have such a waiver application approved by the Secretary;

      (2) publish on the Internet Web site of the Department of Health and Human Services each application for a waiver described in paragraph (1); and

      (3) publish on the Internet Web site of the Department of Health and Human Services the determination of the Secretary whether to approve or reject such application, and the reason for such approval or rejection.

    (b) Protection of Proprietary Information- In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary shall ensure the confidentiality of proprietary information of each applicant.

    (c) Prohibition of Preferential Treatment- In no case, during any stage of the application process for an application described in subsection (a)(1), shall preferential treatment be given to an applicant based on political contributions or association with a labor union, a health plan provided for under a collective bargaining agreement, or another organized labor group.

END