Congress passes critical PPP legislation

On Wednesday, the Senate succeeded in passing the House of Representatives’ bill that makes significant changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The legislation would lower the Small Business Administration’s requirement that 75% of the loan be spent on payroll costs to qualify for forgiveness to 60%, extend the Covered Period to 24 weeks (up until Dec. 31, 2020), allow PPP borrowers to defer payroll tax payments, establish a minimum maturity term of five years for the balance remaining after forgiveness, and provide greater flexibility for borrowers to rehire employees that would otherwise reduce the amount forgiven. Once the President signs this legislation, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 will become law.

Dems take the House in 2018 midterms: What’s next for healthcare

Originally published in the November 7, 2018 issue of MGMA’s Washington Connection
Reprinted with permission from MGMA

Following last night’s elections, Democrats won the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since 2010, while Republicans will likely increase their numbers and maintain control of the Senate. Healthcare issues dominated the campaign cycle, yet it remains to be seen what role healthcare will play in agenda-setting for the upcoming Congress. One issue now unlikely to advance on the legislative front is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Democrats have solidified their ability to block any ACA repeal bill, and Republican leaders appear open to supporting aspects of the ACA such as protections for pre-existing conditions.

The Democratic victory in the House means new leaders will chair key committees overseeing health policy. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to reclaim her role as Speaker of the House and has promised to make drug pricing a priority for the next Congress. The Trump administration has similarly prioritized this issue, but it is unclear whether leaders from the administration and Senate will work together with House leadership on their shared priority to lower drug costs.