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Walberg Introduces Bill to Protect Hospitals from Unprecedented Government Interference

Bill prevents OFCCP from expanding jurisdiction over health care providers

Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, today introduced the Protecting Health Care Providers from Increased Administrative Burdens Act (H.R. 3633). The legislation would prevent the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) from exerting jurisdiction over health care providers through executive fiat. OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu will testify tomorrow about the agency’s recent regulatory actions, as well as its ongoing effort to unilaterally expand its jurisdiction over health care providers.

“Hospitals and doctors are already under immense pressure as a result of the president’s flawed health care law,” said Rep. Walberg. “Now they have to fear a government agency trying to meddle where it does not belong. If OFCCP expands its jurisdiction through executive fiat, hospitals will face an administrative nightmare. Administrative burdens carry costs and those costs are almost always passed along to consumers. I don’t think anyone can argue that the American people can afford higher health care costs. I urge my colleagues to oppose the administration’s overreach by supporting the Protecting Health Care Providers from Increased Administrative Burdens Act.”

BACKGROUND: The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces affirmative action and nondiscrimination employment policies affecting federal contractors. OFCCP has attempted on numerous occasions to expand its jurisdiction to include health care providers based on contractual relationships with a federal health care program. For example, in December 2010 OFCCP issued a directive that health providers reimbursed through Medicare Parts C and D may fall under its jurisdiction. While the directive was later withdrawn, OFCCP has made similar jurisdictional claims on a case-by-case basis. The agency has also exerted jurisdiction in matters regarding TRICARE (health care for service members and veterans) and the Federal Employees’ Health Benefit Program.

Health care providers, who are already subject to federal anti-discrimination law, have expressed concerns that OFCCP’s efforts to expand its jurisdiction will create significant and unnecessary paperwork, potentially raising administrative costs for providers and affecting access to care. Echoing these concerns, the Department of Defense stated in 2010, “It would be impossible to achieve the TRICARE mission of providing affordable health care for our nation’s active duty and retired military members and their families if onerous federal contracting rules were applied to more than 500,000 TRICARE providers in the United States.

To read full text of H.R. 3633, click here.


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