Committee on Ways and Means

Dave Camp

U.S. Child Poverty Rates by Family Structure in Context

2014/10/15

Facts:

Almost 46 percent of children living in female headed single parent families were in poverty in contrast to only 9.5 percent of children in married couple families…” (Source: Where’s the Outrage? Robert Doar)

Context:

The poverty rate for children raised in the U.S. by single parents (46%) is higher than the overall poverty rate in Rwanda (44.9%).  The poverty rate for children raised in the U.S. by married parents (9.5%) is lower than the overall poverty rate in Beverly Hills, CA (10%). 

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Bill to Improve Post-Acute Care for Medicare Beneficiaries Becomes Law

2014/10/06

Washington, DC – Today, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4994, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act), bipartisan legislation aimed at strengthening and improving post-acute care for Medicare beneficiaries while bringing about more accountable, quality-driven benefits to patients.  The IMPACT Act also strengthens Medicare’s oversight of hospice care by ensuring that Medicare dollars are spent efficiently and that high quality care is provided.

The bill was introduced in the House by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI).

The IMPACT Act moves forward on the long-standing policy goal of collecting standardized data from Medicare post-acute care (PAC) providers.  It will align Medicare PAC providers and create a more accountable, quality-driven PAC benefit.

Specifically, the IMPACT Act requires data standardization that enables Medicare to:

  • Compare quality across different PAC settings;
  • Improve hospital and PAC discharge planning; and,
  • Use this information to reform PAC payments (via site neutral or bundled payments or some other reform) while ensuring continued beneficiary access to the most appropriate setting of care.

This information will allow future payment reforms to be driven by quality and efficiency while protecting beneficiary access to appropriate services.

The IMPACT Act was largely shaped by input received from the post-acute care community after a discussion draft was released in March of this year, resulting in policy and legislative recommendations from more than 70 stakeholders in the healthcare community.


For more information on the IMPACT Act, please click here.

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Administration's Revisionist History: Putting the Economy's "Incredible Progress" in Perspective

2014/10/06

Now (October 2014)

“Our economy is making incredible progress.” For example, 5.9 percent unemployment is “a number many economists didn’t think we’d see for years.” 

Sources: White House press release and email from CEA Chairman Jason Furman, October 3, 2014.


Then (January 2009)

The Obama Administration predicted that, with Democrats’ stimulus plan, the U.S. unemployment rate would fall to 5.9 percent by early 2012.  Even without stimulus, the Administration forecast the unemployment rate would fall to 5.9 percent by late 2012 – that is, two years ago.

Source: Administration’s January 2009 Romer/Bernstein Report.

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Camp Statement on September Jobs Report

2014/10/03

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement on the September jobs report.


"While the economy is creating jobs, the fact remains we are stuck in a Carter-like economy in which millions of Americans have simply given up.  For those lucky enough to be working, wages are flat and middle-class families are struggling to keep up with their bills.  The Administration must do more to strengthen this economy.  That includes getting the Democrat-controlled Senate to act on over 40 jobs bills the House has passed, as well as more aggressively pursuing job-creating trade deals and tax reform that can put more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans."

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Democrat Stimulus Architect Admits “the Economy’s Problems,” not “Economic Greatness”

2014/10/02

Democrat Stimulus Architect Admits “the Economy’s Problems,” not “Economic Greatness

Then: The January 2009 Romer-Bernstein Report predicts 5 percent unemployment by now.

Sources: January 2009 Romer/Bernstein Report ("Administration Prediction With Stimulus Plan”),
and Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (“Actual”).

Now: Jared Bernstein, “How the Jobless Rate Underestimates the Economy’s Problems,” October 2, 2014

  • The economy is not growing as it should: “(T)here’s considerable slack, in terms of underutilized resources, in the American economy in general and the labor market in particular.”

  • The economy has been lagging “for years now”: “They’ve (i.e. the Federal Reserve) been providing extensive monetary stimulus to the lagging economy for years now…”

  • Millions of people are still underemployed: “(T)here are over seven million involuntary part-time workers, almost 5 percent of the labor force, who want, but can’t find, full-time jobs. That’s still up two percentage points from its pre-recession trough.”

  • Millions more have given up on finding work: “Once you give up looking for work, you’re no longer counted in the unemployment rate, so if a bunch of people exit the labor force because of the very slack we’re trying to measure, it artificially lowers unemployment, making a weak labor market look better. That’s certainly happened over the recession and throughout the recovery, but it’s been mixed in with a more benign source of labor force exits: the retirement of aging baby boomers. So economists have scurried about trying to figure out how much of the three-percentage-point decline in the labor force participation rate, from about 66 to 63 percent, to attribute to slack and how much to so-called structural (vs. cyclical) factors. And the answer, according to the economist Jan Hatzius, is that about one percentage point, or about a third of the total, is because of slack. By itself (not accounting for the involuntary part-timers), that implies an unemployment rate more like 7 percent. That’s another 1.6 million people worth of slack, people who could get pulled back into the job market if the jobs were there.”

  • Wage growth has been “persistently slow”: “The persistently slow growth of wages in recent years is Exhibit A in the case for slack…”

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Uncertain 1st Anniversary for Affordable Care Act Rollout

2014/10/01

Washington, DC – House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) says one year after a disastrous rollout, the Affordable Care Act still isn't ready.

“Today, Americans were supposed to be able to enroll in an Affordable Care Act plan for the second year, but the opening of 2015 enrollment was delayed till after the mid-term elections to avoid consumers finding out that much of the backend of Healthcare.gov still doesn’t work, and that they may face higher premiums and a more narrow network.

“As the broken promises mount – from your family will save $2,500 a year to you can keep the plan or doctor you like and trust and many more – it is clear to most Americans that this law is continues to do much more harm than good, especially when it comes to affordability and accessibility.  And, the worst may be yet to come as costs rise and employers cut worker’s hours or stop offering health insurance, and millions are still unsure what all this means come tax time.

“While this poorly written law has helped some, it has hurt many, many more.  One year later, too many families have had the plans they liked cancelled and can no longer see the local doctor they trusted.  That is not the health care reform they were promised.”

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ICYMI: Momentum for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Needs to be Revived

2014/10/01

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed free-trade agreement that will knit the United States and 11 nations of South America, North America and Asia more closely together, while providing a geopolitical counterweight to a rising China. The pact would be especially valuable because Japan is willing to join, which would require a long-overdue opening and restructuring of its protected but lackluster economy. Indeed, without Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, the TPP loses much of its strategic significance.

So it was disappointing to learn that a Sept. 24 meeting between American and Japanese trade negotiators in Washington broke up after only an hour over the same old issue, Japanese resistance to U.S. farm exports, that has plagued the two nations’ dealings for decades. The Japanese departed without touching a sandwich buffet that had been laid out in anticipation of an extended working session, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This is only the latest troubling development for the centerpiece of what was once meant to be President Obama’s foreign policy “pivot” to Asia. As 2014 began, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was promising to join the U.S.-led free-trade agreement as a spur to his own structural economic reforms. A bipartisan, bicameral group of senior U.S. lawmakers had agreed on a plan for “fast track” legislative authority to expedite a congressional vote on the TPP, once the 12 would-be members hammered out a final deal. Bucking resistance from trade skeptics in his own party, Mr. Obama had offered a friendly reference to that proposal in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28.

But Mr. Obama’s call was received coolly by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and by key Democratic constituencies such as organized labor. Foreign crises in the Middle East and Ukraine occupied the White House and Congress. Two champions of the bipartisan trade-promotion measure, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), retired or planned to retire from Congress. For all of Mr. Abe’s talk of bold steps and confronting special interests in Japan, his negotiators have not yet backed up the prime minister’s talk with concrete proposals, even though the prime minister has said repeatedly that opening agricultural markets is in Japan’s interest. The upshot is that momentum behind the TPP seems to be flagging and the administration’s goal of a tentative agreement by the end of 2014 is looking less feasible.

Vice President Biden tried to patch things up with Mr. Abe in a meeting on Friday, which produced a boilerplate pledge to seek an agreement. It will take more than that to revive the momentum for the TPP and close a deal. Back home, Mr. Abe needs to keep the pressure on special interests. Congress could reciprocate by moving ahead promptly with fast-track authority during the post-election lame-duck period — which will take political courage on its part, too.

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Bill to Fight Child Trafficking, Strengthen Child Welfare Protections Becomes Law

2014/09/30

Washington, DC – Last night, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4980, the ​​Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, bipartisan legislation aimed at reducing child sex trafficking, increasing adoptions and improving child support collections.  The bill was introduced in the House by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).


The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act will encourage states to combat sex trafficking among youth in foster care, promote normalcy for foster youth, help move more children from foster care into adoptive homes or the homes of relatives, and increase the amount of child support provided to families in which one parent resides outside of the U.S.  The legislation is fully paid for, and is expected to reduce the deficit by $19 million over the next 10 years.


The following are key provisions of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.

Title I: Protecting Youth at Risk of Sex Trafficking

  • Requires state child welfare agencies to identify, document, and determine appropriate services for children in foster care or who are otherwise involved in the child welfare system who are victims of child sex trafficking or at risk of becoming victims.
  • Requires state child welfare agencies to promote "normalcy" for youth in foster care allowing them to more easily participate in age appropriate social, scholastic and enrichment activities.

Title II: Improving Adoption Incentives

  • Improves the adoption incentives program and extends it for three years.  It also extends the Family Connection Grant Program for one year.

Title III: Improving International Child Support Recovery

  • Requires states to make necessary changes to implement the Hague Convention in enforcing international child support cases, increasing the amount of child support collected for families.
  • Requires data standardization within the child support enforcement program, improving administration.  This would streamline the child support programs with federal programs including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child welfare, Unemployment Insurance and food assistance programs such as SNAP.
  • Requires all states to implement electronic processing of income withholding, as most states already do; this will improve the collection of child support and save taxpayers $48 million over 10 years.
  • Creates a task force to explore ways to improve the effectiveness of the child support enforcement program.


Click here for more information on the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.

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Ways & Means, Senate Finance Leaders Request ITC Investigation into India’s Unfair Trade Practices

2014/09/25

Washington, DC – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) sent a letter, also found below, to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting the ITC conduct a second investigation into India’s unfair trade practices that discriminate against U.S. exports and investment.  This request, which asks the ITC to deliver a report to Congress on September 24, 2015, follows a previous request made by the congressional leaders in August 2013.  The report from the first request is scheduled to be delivered to Congress on December 15, 2014.


The Honorable Meredith Broadbent        

Chairman
U.S. International Trade Commission
500 E Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20436
            
Dear Chairman Broadbent:

We are writing concerning the ongoing International Trade Commission investigation requested on August 2, 2013, under section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1332(g)) regarding India’s industrial policies that discriminate against U.S. trade and investment.  We look forward to receiving this report, which is to focus on India’s policies during the period from 2003 through mid-2014, by the December 15, 2014 deadline.  


Given the recent national elections in India and the formation of a new Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, and our interest in receiving the most comprehensive and up-to-date information possible, we now request under section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 ((19 U.S.C. § 1332(g)) that the Commission conduct a second investigation concerning India’s industrial policies that discriminate against U.S. trade and investment since the first ITC investigation.  In particular, we request that you include information about any significant changes by the new Indian government to the trade and investment policies identified in the ITC’s first report.  The investigation should also include any new relevant trade and investment policies and practices, focusing on the period from mid-2014.  We expect that this new investigation will allow the Commission to meet with relevant Indian government officials in the new Bharatiya Janata Party-led government and seek additional information from U.S. firms on any developments in India relevant to the scope of matters identified in our original August 2013 request.


We request that the Commission deliver this second report to us by September 24, 2015.  As was the case with our earlier request, we do not expect the Commission to make findings regarding the legal merits of any Indian laws or policies.  In addition, because we intend to make the report available to the public, we request that the Commission not include confidential business information.


Sincerely,


Dave Camp                                          

Chairman                                          
House Committee on Ways and Means      

Ron Wyden

Chairman 
Senate Committee on Finance   

Sander Levin                           

Ranking Member                        
House Committee on Ways and Means           

Orrin Hatch

Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Finance    
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Report: Administration Data on ObamaCare Spending Unreliable

2014/09/23

Washington, DC – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is not keeping complete and reliable information on how much it is spending to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In response to the report, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-LA) issued the following statements.

“The Administration has tried to hide the ball from Congress on just how much it is spending on the health care law," said Camp.  “After ignoring repeated requests from Congress, we now find out that the Administration is not even keeping track of how many taxpayer dollars are going out the door.  Worse yet, the Administration won’t even account for how much it spent on public relations campaigns promoting their unpopular law. “

"The GAO's report confirms what we already know - this Administration is not interested in following the letter of the law when it comes to the ACA,“ added Boustany.  “Chairman Camp, my colleagues, and I won't stop demanding answers until the Administration is held fully accountable for this action."

The report found:  

  • Unreliable data: GAO found that the "reliability of most of the information CMS provided could not be determined."
  • Spending unaccounted for: HHS could not or would not disclose how much money it spent on polling, focus groups and advertising to promote the ACA.  It also could not or would not account for whether the nearly 350 employees now working on the ACA were transferred from Medicare and Medicaid work or newly hired.
  • Money being diverted from Medicare & Medicaid: GAO report found that $3 billion appropriated to run the CMS programs were used to run the ACA.  GAO further stated that "we do not have any assurance whether these amounts are reliable and whether the actual amounts are larger."

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Chairman Tiberi Announces Hearing on Private Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans

2014/09/17


Chairman Brady Announces Hearing on the Status of the Affordable Care Act Implementation

2014/09/10


Chairman Reichert Announces Hearing on Social Impact Bonds: Can They Help Government Achieve Better Results for Families in Need?

2014/09/09


Markup of: H.R. 647, "ABLE Act of 2013"

2014/07/31


Chairman Reichert Announces Hearing on Subsidized Job Programs and their Effectiveness in Helping Families Go to Work and Escape Poverty

2014/07/30


Chairman Tiberi Announces Hearing on Dynamic Analysis of the Tax Reform Act of 2014

2014/07/30


Chairman Nunes Announces Hearing on Advancing the U.S. Trade Agenda: Trade with Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act

2014/07/29


Chairman Johnson Announces Hearing on What Workers Need to Know About Social Security as They Plan for Their Retirement

2014/07/29


Chairman Brady Announces Hearing on the Future of Medicare Advantage Health Plans

2014/07/24


Boustany Announces Hearing on the Integrity of the Affordable Care Act’s Premium Tax Credit

2014/07/23


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Contact Information

1102 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3625
Fax 202-225-5680
waysandmeans.house.gov


Membership

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

Charles Boustany

LOUISIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Dave Camp

MICHIGAN's 4th DISTRICT

Jim Gerlach

PENNSYLVANIA's 6th DISTRICT

Tim Griffin

ARKANSAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Lynn Jenkins

KANSAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

Mike Kelly

PENNSYLVANIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Erik Paulsen

MINNESOTA's 3rd DISTRICT

Tom Price

GEORGIA's 6th DISTRICT

Tom Reed

NEW YORK's 23rd DISTRICT

Dave Reichert

WASHINGTON's 8th DISTRICT

Jim Renacci

OHIO's 16th DISTRICT

Peter Roskam

ILLINOIS' 6th DISTRICT

Paul Ryan

WISCONSIN's 1st DISTRICT

Aaron Schock

ILLINOIS' 18th DISTRICT

Adrian Smith

NEBRASKA's 3rd DISTRICT

Pat Tiberi

OHIO's 12th DISTRICT

Todd Young

INDIANA's 9th DISTRICT