Diane Black

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

Joint Op-Ed: Electronic Health Care Program Threatens More Efficient Setting of Care

2014/09/30


Black Statement on the Resignation of Eric Holder

2014/09/25

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued the following statement on the news that Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning:

“I welcome the news that Mr. Holder will be leaving this Administration,” said Congressman Black. “Mr. Holder’s time in office has been mired by scandal and controversy, resulting in the House holding him in contempt of Congress for his refusal to be forthcoming in the ‘Fast and Furious’ investigation. Furthermore, Mr. Holder has so far refused to responsibly address the IRS’ targeting of conservatives – an egregious offense against the American people and against the Constitution he is sworn to protect. My colleagues and I on the Ways and Means Committee referred him to three possible areas where charges might be brought against former IRS official Lois Lerner, and his Justice Department has refused to act. I hope his replacement will be well qualified and have the respect for Congress that the position of Attorney General requires.”

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

 

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Changes to firearm purchase forms draw strong reaction

2014/09/25


GOP: Obama Admin Still Wrong On Birth Control Mandate Rules

2014/09/24


Black Leads Charge Against HHS’ Contraceptive Mandate Rules

2014/09/24

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) led a group of 51 House lawmakers in a letter expressing opposition and concern with the new rules from the Department of Health and Human Services concerning the contraceptive mandate that violates Americans’ free exercise of religion. In the letter, the lawmakers write:

By not providing a clear exemption from the mandate for those with religious or moral objections, the proposed rules fail to resolve this ongoing legal and regulatory controversy.

The government may not dictate how Americans may exercise their beliefs. The interim final rule and the proposed rule relating to sterilization and contraception services miss the crux of the conscionable objections that Americans have with providing coverage for certain drugs and devices, including potentially life-ending drugs, and the Administration has once again shown its blatant disregard for the basic constitutional rights of those affected.  Instead of alleviating these violations, the Administration has merely regurgitated and complicated an “accommodation” process that has already been deemed insufficient.

The interim final rule issued by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury provides another version of the existing “accommodation” without offering a fundamentally different approach.  Under this process the government has taken it upon itself to determine what is morally acceptable to conscionable objectors. This new paperwork option does not change the outcome.  Notifying the administration of their objection so that the Administration can direct their insurance company to provide the coverage anyway is hardly different from the prior process in which notification to the insurance company triggered the coverage.

This proposed accommodation has already been rejected by over 50 nonprofit charities, schools and religious organizations that have brought suit.  Despite clear objection to this policy, the proposed rule would expand this inadequate accommodation to “closely-held for-profit companies.”  This is a problematic proposal.  Furthermore, the proposed rule overreaches the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby by seeking to limit who is eligible for protection and who is not.  The government is not the arbiter of who qualifies for constitutional protection and who does not.  Religious liberty applies to all, and any rule that attempts to limit who may exercise these freedoms is unconstitutional and intolerable.    

We find it troubling that the Administration is maintaining this misguided position and needlessly placing American businesses and nonprofits that serve the poorest among us at continued risk.  The new proposals are unacceptable and fundamentally flawed, but they also leave many unanswered questions as to how they will function.  For this reason, we seek greater clarification of this proposed rule and ask for responses to the below questions:

  1. How will the interim final rule address the conscionable objections of nonprofits that operate as their own third party administrator?  Will an alternative solution be provided?  If so, please provide an expected timeframe.
  1. How will the Administration define a “closely-held for-profit company”?  Will HHS adopt the term used by the Internal Revenue Service?  If not, please explain the process to create this definition and any efforts that will be taken to ensure transparency.
  1. In the 2012 rule proposed by the Administration, it was stated that a letter would also be required to satisfy an exception from the mandate.  This stated letter was later finalized as Form 700.  Will the interim final rule describing a letter become another government form?
  1. The Treasury interim final rule contains an expiration date for 2017.  Will this serve as a temporary resolution or was this an oversight?

We remain deeply concerned that the Administration has again failed to simply exempt these nonprofits and businesses from the mandate.  This controversial mandate has proven a lengthy legal and regulatory burden that has spanned years and remains unresolved.  We suspect there is an inexcusable amount of cost to the taxpayers for the work conducted by the Administration in this matter, but the obvious additional cost to these family businesses and nonprofits that are dedicated to creating jobs and serving in our communities in both time and monetary impact is unconscionable.

To read the full letter, click here.

Members joining Congressman Black on the letter include Reps. Justin Amash, Michele Bachmann, Lou Barletta, Marsha Blackburn, Kevin Brady, Rick Crawford, Jeff Duncan, Stephen Fincher, John Fleming, Bill Flores, Randy Forbes, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Bob Gibbs, Bob Goodlatte, Tim Griffin, Andy Harris, Vicki Hartzler, Jeb Hensarling, Tim Huelskamp, Bill Huizenga, Bill Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Mike Kelly, Adam Kinzinger, Doug LaMalfa, Doug Lamborn, Robert Latta, James Lankford, Daniel Lipinksi, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Markwayne Mullin, Randy Neugeubauer, Alan Nunnelee, Pete Olson, Steve Pearce, Joe Pitts, Mike Pompeo, Reid Ribble, Phil Roe, Peter Roskam, Paul Ryan, Pete Sessions, Chris Smith, Chris Stewart, Marlin Stutzman, Tim Walberg, and Joe Wilson.

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

 

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Representatives Black and Welch Introduce Legislation to Advance Health Care System Payment Reforms

2014/09/22

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced bipartisan legislation to build upon the progress of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in shifting the reimbursement of health care providers away from the traditional “fee for service” model to a focus on improving the health outcomes of patients. The ACO Improvement Act (H.R. 5558) will improve the ACO model by providing additional incentives focused on health outcomes, increasing collaboration between patients and doctors, and providing ACOs with additional tools.

“As a nurse of over forty years, I know firsthand the challenges facing health care professionals as they seek to provide their patients with the best care possible,” said Congressman Black. “It is unfortunate that the current fee for service payment system does little to encourage and incentivize providers and patients to use the most appropriate and effective health care options.  By incentivizing providers to focus on improving health care outcomes instead of increasing the quantity of services provided, this legislation will help improve care coordination, increase efficiency, and mostly importantly, ensure the patient receives the best care possible.”

“If we are going to reduce health care costs and increase quality, the incentives built into the provider payment system need to be changed.  In short, we need to reward value, not volume,” said Rep. Welch.  “Paying health care providers based on improvements in patient health rather than the number of procedures they perform is the way of the future.  Our legislation will advance these payment reforms and is based on the experience of ACOs in Vermont and around the country.” 

An ACO is a collaborative of health care providers working together to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care, rather than increase the number and type of services performed.  The goal of ACOs is to drive down health care costs and improve patient health outcomes by creating financial incentives to provide better, more cost-effective care.  Rep. Welch is the author of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that created a nationwide Medicare ACO program. 

Rep. Black, a registered nurse, is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and Rep. Welch is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  The two committees have jurisdiction over all health care legislation in the House of Representatives.  

Text of the ACO Improvement Act can be viewed here. The Black-Welch legislation will improve Medicare ACOs with a 3-pronged approach that includes:

1.    Additional incentives emphasizing health outcomes over services performed:

  • Creates a pilot payment program that will disperse Medicare funds based on health outcomes rather than fee-for-service.
  • Permits qualifying ACOs to provide telehealth and remote patient monitoring services.
  • Provides regulatory relief that will allow qualifying providers to make health care decisions solely based on what is best for the patient.

2.    Increasing collaboration between patients and their doctors:

  • Expand the ability of ACOs to reduce seniors out-of-pocket expenses for primary care visits and exams to encourage participation in their own wellness.
  • Foster a stronger patient-doctor relationship by allowing patients to choose their primary care provider, including the option to choose a nurse practitioner or physician assistant in rural and underserved areas.

3.    Provide ACOs with additional tools needed for success:

  • Ensure that ACOs have fair and transparent benchmarks and begin moving towards standards that account for regional differences.
  • Improve data sharing between Medicare administration and the ACO to ensure better coordination of care.
  • Expand the Advanced Payment ACO Model so that more rural ACOs can be established.

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Rep. Diane Black asks ATF to eliminate race and ethnicity questioning when purchasing a gun

2014/09/18


Black, Poe Introduce the FIREARM Act

2014/09/18

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Diane Black (R-TN-06) and Ted Poe (R-TX-02) introduced the FIREARM (Freedom From Intrusive Regulatory Enforcement of Arbitrary Registration Mandates) Act – legislation to prohibit the federal government from requiring race or ethnicity to be disclosed in connection with the purchase of a firearm. In 2012, the Obama Administration quietly began requiring the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to record firearms purchasers’ race and ethnicity.

“This requirement by the ATF is highly intrusive and unnecessary,” said Congressman Black. “Failing to adhere to this requirement by not checking all of the correct boxes on the 4473 Form is considered an ATF violation that can be so severe as to result in the gun dealer being shut down for having incomplete purchaser forms. This is causing a headache for many firearms retailers and this commonsense legislation would simply stop the federal government from requiring businesses and consumers to comply with this ‘race and ethnicity standard.’”

“Washington bureaucrats have no business requiring citizens who are lawfully purchasing firearms to disclose their race or ethnicity,” said Congressman Poe. “Under this rule, both gun dealers and purchasers face the threat of federal prosecution for not disclosing race or ethnicity on a form. This is an intrusive and unnecessary requirement. As long as the gun is purchased lawfully, race or ethnicity should be irrelevant.”

The ATF’s justification for this requirement stems from a “race and ethnicity standard” devised by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) almost 20 years ago. According to the OMB, the 4473 Form was to be updated by ATF by 2003; however, there is no federal law requiring this administrative directive. Why, almost 10 years later, is the federal government requiring gun store owners and purchasers to record race and ethnicity?  Failing to adhere to this requirement -- if the boxes are left blank -- can result in the ATF shutting down the business for having incomplete purchaser forms.

Additional Information:

Bill Text of the Firearm Act

9/16/2014: Washington Times: Obama administration forcing new gun buyers to declare race, ethnicity

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Black Statement on House Passage of Continuing Resolution

2014/09/17

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) voted in support of the McKeon Amendment to provide the Administration Title X Authority for the Department of Defense to train and equip vetted Syrian opposition groups. She also voted in support of final passage of the Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded past the end of this fiscal year. Congressman Black issued the following statement upon House passage of the Continuing Resolution with the McKeon Amendment:

“In times of divided government, no one will get everything they want. My strong preference would be to fund the government through the regular appropriations process rather than by continuing forward with passing last minute, stop-gap funding measures to keep the government open. Unfortunately, the Democrat-led Senate failed to pass any appropriations bills this year, leaving us once again backed against a tight deadline to pass a continuing resolution that keeps the government open at the end of the month.

“Included in this legislation is an important amendment requested by the President that I supported which will provide aid to the vetted Syrian rebels that he will enlist in our fight against the terrorist threat of ISIS. I have strong concerns with the President’s plan to defeat this enemy of the United States, which is why this amendment includes language to ensure congressional oversight and greater transparency through reporting requirements.

“This continuing resolution also maintains spending levels at those agreed to under the Ryan/Murray budget agreement, which achieved spending reductions even below those of the budget sequester. This bill provides added funding to address the unacceptable VA backlog and also prevents internet usage from being taxed.

“I am disappointed that the Democrat-led Senate brought us to the point of needing yet another short-term funding measure, and I hope that Republicans can soon take control of this the full Congress so that we can work through the regular appropriations process.”

 

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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TN Republicans seize on report about abortion coverage

2014/09/17


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Contact Information

1531 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4231
Fax 202-225-6887
black.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Budget

Ways and Means

As a nurse, small businesswoman and former educator, Congressman Diane Black brings a unique and dynamic perspective to her work in Congress. Diane’s faith in America’s promise was shaped from an early age. The middle daughter of working-class, Great Depression era parents, Diane saw firsthand their efforts to create a better life for their children through their pursuit of the American Dream.

First elected to Congress in 2010, Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District, which includes 19 counties in middle Tennessee. Black is driven by her Christian faith and an unwavering commitment to restore fiscal sanity in Washington, enact market-based health care reform, and return America to its founding principles of limited government and a strong free enterprise system.

Black serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and has quickly established herself as a leader in the efforts to fundamentally reform the U.S. tax code for the first time in over 25 years. Black is fighting for a flatter, fairer and simpler tax code to help create the conditions for economic growth, job creation, and higher wages for American workers. In the 113th Congress, Black was selected to chair the Ways and Means Education and Family Benefits Tax Reform Working Group.

Through her over 40 years of experience working in the health care field, Black learned first-hand about the importance of high-quality care and the obstacles faced by patients, health care providers and employers. Black’s real world experiences as a nurse have uniquely positioned her as a credible and effective leader on health care policy in Congress. She is focused on dismantling the president’s health care law and advancing true market-based, patient-centered reforms that will bring down the rising cost of care by increasing private sector competition and consumer choice. In the 112th Congress, Black was the first member of Congress to have legislation signed into law that repeals a health care provision in Obamacare, which saved taxpayers $13 billion dollars.

Black is also a member of the House Budget Committee, and a co-author of the 2014 Path to Prosperity budget, which balances the federal budget within ten years, reduces federal spending by $4.6 trillion, saves Medicare for future generations and promotes private sector economic growth. Black is a firm believer that getting America’s fiscal house in order also requires serious reforms of the broken Congressional Budget process. That is why she introduced the Legally Binding Budget Act, H.R. 1868, and has been a leading advocate for initiatives such as the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution and the No Budget, No Pay Act, H.R. 325, which withholds pay from Congress if an annual budget is not passed by the legal deadline.

Building off her work in the Tennessee legislature as a pro-life leader, Black has continued to fight for the rights of the unborn. Her first piece of legislation in the 113th Congress, H.R. 217, would block any Title X federal funding from going to organizations that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. Black is also the sponsor of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, H.R. 940, legislation that would protect the religious freedom of health care providers who refuse to perform abortions and offers full exemption from the Health and Human Services (HHS) employee healthcare mandate that requires coverage for abortion inducing drugs.

Black and her husband of over 30 years, Dr. David Black have three grown children and six grandchildren.  They live in Gallatin and attend Community Church in Hendersonville.


Serving With

Phil Roe

TENNESSEE's 1st DISTRICT

John Duncan

TENNESSEE's 2nd DISTRICT

Chuck Fleischmann

TENNESSEE's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott DesJarlais

TENNESSEE's 4th DISTRICT

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Stephen Fincher

TENNESSEE's 8th DISTRICT

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