Wednesday turned out to be even better than the previous two days. The quality of the panelists and speakers was extremely impressive. Two speakers stood out: Steve Larsen, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, (CCIIO), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Representative (R-OH). The fact that NAHU was able to hear the Speaker of the House on the morning after the State of the Union address is a testament to the influence and recognition our association now has in Washington.
Tuesday’s visit to the hill was extremely interesting. The fact that the President gave the State of the Union address last night adds an additional dimension to the visit.
As is often the case, we met primarily with staffers to discuss the issues they felt they needed to gain a better understanding of and offer our expertise to assist them going forward. The representatives from our state, for the most part, are behind our efforts and agree that PPACA will impose a significant cost burden on the citizens of South Carolina. The representatives with whom I met, Scott and Mulvaney, both support HR 1206, and we thanked them for their support.
Cap Conference 2012 has begun and I am reminded why I avoid traveling north this time of year. This being my first Cap Conference, I was unsure as to what to expect. I can tell you this is something everyone in our industry should be required to attend. In the short time I have been here, I have gained a much greater appreciation of the work done by our association leaders. What they do on our behalf to make sure we have a role in the future is evidenced in the work they did to put together this conference. NAHU is a well recognized force on Capitol Hill and there will be 700 of us meeting with approximately 400 of our states representatives to discuss the role and value of agents.