Diane Black

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

Reps. Poe and Black Respond to President's Amnesty Plan, Introduce the Separation of Powers Act

2014/11/21

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) and Congressman Diane Black (TN-06) introduced the Separation of Powers Act.  This legislation would prohibit the use of funds for granting deferred action or other immigration relief to aliens not lawfully present in the United States. The bill text is attached.

“Time and again this lawless administration has defied Congress in order to unilaterally implement its own agenda,” said Rep. Poe. “The President’s latest edict announcing that he will disregard immigration law, rewrite the rules and grant amnesty and work permits to millions of foreign nationals is just the latest illegal act. These actions are motivated by politics, not people. This legislation will allow Congress to exercise its 'check' on an out-of-control White House that treats the Constitution as a mere suggestion, not the law of the land.”

“President Obama will regret this decision,” said Congressman Black. “The American public has loudly voiced their objections to the President circumventing Congress like this, and now President Obama has ignored the will of the people and set a terrible precedent for future Administrations. In doing so he has also reversed his own previous position on the limits of his power, further degrading his credibility and disgracing his Administration. My colleagues and I will explore our options to stop this overreach and restore the proper Constitutional balance to our government – this legislation is an important start.”

The Separation of Powers Act:

1.      Prohibits any funds from being appropriated or otherwise made available to grant parole or deferred action to any alien other than for reasons permitted under current law; and 

2.      Prohibits any funds from being appropriated or otherwise made available to provide work permits or green cards to aliens who are currently unlawfully in the U.S.

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Rep. Black bill would end Social Security for Nazis

2014/11/20


Rep. Black Co-Sponsors Bill to End Social Security Benefits for Nazis

2014/11/20

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in introducing legislation to terminate Social Security benefits for Nazi persecutors who receive them because of a loophole in current law. 

“Congress must stop the flow of payments to these war criminals immediately,” said Congressman Black. “That is why I co-sponsored Congressman Sam Johnson’s No Social Security for Nazis Act. This legislation will cut off benefits to anyone stripped of U.S. citizenship—either voluntarily or by order of the federal government—related to their participation in Nazi crimes. The legislation further ensures that, if the offenders are married, they are denied spousal benefits under Social Security as well. These human rights violators don’t deserve one more dime from you and me.”

The legislation is a result of bipartisan work following news reports that some Nazi persecutors, who participated in the systematic murder of millions of innocents, are currently receiving Social Security benefits due to a loophole in the law.  By leaving the U.S. voluntarily, instead of being deported, some Nazi war criminals and collaborators were able to keep their Social Security benefits.  The House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee have jurisdiction over Social Security. 

Text of the legislation and bill summary information is available here.

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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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Black, Blumenauer Send Letter to CMS on Socioeconomic Status and Risk-Adjustment in Medicare Advantage

2014/11/18

Washington, D.C. – Reps. Diane Black (R-TN-06) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) and a bipartisan group of 32 of their House colleagues wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, asking for appropriate adjustments to the Medicare Advantage risk-adjustment system and the star rating and quality bonus program for Medicare’s most vulnerable population.  The text of their letter is below, or for a digital copy, click here.

The Honorable Marilyn Tavenner Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 7500 Security Boulevard Baltimore, MD 21244

Dear Administrator Tavenner:

We write today to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to take appropriate measures to ensure Medicare’s most vulnerable populations will continue to have access to the high quality care provided through the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. The MA program plays an important role in helping 16 million beneficiaries access high-quality health care, including delivering coordinated care to dually-eligible beneficiaries and other low-income seniors who often experience higher rates of chronic illness, disability and mental illness. 

It is well established that social determinants of health, including socioeconomic status, are important drivers of health outcomes. Dually-eligible individuals are amongst Medicare and Medicaid’s most vulnerable beneficiaries and those most in need of the additional benefits and services, care management, and coordination across providers that MA offers.  We are, therefore, concerned that the current MA quality and resultant payment system does not capture the social determinants of health that these beneficiaries may face.

We appreciate CMS’s recent interest in the impact of such social determinations, including low-income status on performance ratings, and believe the Request for Information released on September 8, 2014 is an important first step in examining this issue.  The current MA payment system—specifically the risk adjustment payment model and the star ratings and quality bonus program—does not adequately recognize the types of high-cost interventions and care management required to provide high-quality care to the unique and specific needs of dually-eligible beneficiaries. 

Even with additional resources and the best efforts of health care providers, improved health outcomes tend to occur at a slower rate for the most disadvantaged beneficiaries.  This, in turn, leads to lower quality ratings for the plans serving these populations and ultimately, lower funding to these plans. Thus, our current system perpetuates a downward funding and quality spiral for the populations who may need the most help. 

The possibility that a transfer of resources would be made away from the very beneficiaries most in need of such investments is deeply concerning. We want to hold all MA plans to high standards, but we also need to better measure patient outcomes and hold plans accountable for the risks and challenges faced by vulnerable beneficiaries and provide the right resources to help address those risks. 

The MA payment system should recognize the differences necessary to improve health outcomes for all populations, not discourage it.  Any improvement to the risk adjustment model should consider MedPAC’s recommendations to use two years of condition data in the risk adjustment formula, include the number of conditions as an adjustment factor, and include variables for partial and full dual status.   In addition, the star ratings should be adjusted to reflect the challenges plans and providers face in caring for the most vulnerable populations. 

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has recognized the impact that socioeconomic factors have on health outcomes and finalized recommendations to adjust quality measures for such factors on a trial basis.   We applaud NQF for their efforts to address this issue, and we strongly encourage CMS to take these recommendations into account as you consider improvements to the Medicare Advantage program.

We appreciate the recent effort of CMS to consider this important issue, and respectfully request that CMS make the necessary adjustments in the short term to ensure that both the risk-adjustment system and the star rating and quality bonus program accurately reflect the challenges in caring for vulnerable, dually-eligible individuals.  We look forward to further working with CMS to further ensure Medicare's risk adjustment and quality measurement system is as accurate as possible. 

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Op-Ed: ObamaCare Security: Still on Life Support

2014/11/15


Black Addresses Obamacare Architect’s Comments on House Floor

2014/11/13

Click the image for video of her remarks

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) took to the House floor to address controversial comments made by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber. A transcript of her remarks is below, or for video, click here.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call attention to the disturbing remarks that have recently surfaced from one of the key architects of Obamacare.

It’s no secret that Obamacare was built on broken promise after broken promise.

Millions of Americans’ insurance plans have been cancelled; they have lost access to their doctors and hospitals; and instead of reducing premiums by twenty five hundred dollars like the President promised, premiums are skyrocketing across our nation.

And now we have seen one of the key designers of the Affordable Care Act candidly discuss the smoke and mirrors that went into getting this disastrous law passed in the first place.

Indeed, Mr. Gruber bragged about the lack of transparency involved in the process of passing this two thousand page bill, even gaming the bill so that it could not be scored properly by the Congressional Budget Office.

Mr. Gruber refers to the “stupidity of the American voter” as a necessary component to getting Obamacare passed and signed into law.

This is outrageous, and on behalf of my constituents in Tennessee’s 6th Congressional district, and Americans across the country, I reject this assertion from one of Obamacare’s key architects.

The American people are much wiser than this – after all, at no point in time has Obamacare been popular with the public.

Before it was even passed, the American people did everything they could to stop it, even electing a Republican Senator in the blue state of Massachusetts to be a deciding vote against it.

But the Democrat majority maneuvered their way around the will of the people, passing it anyway.

And despite the underhanded efforts of the law’s designers, it was still unpopular with American voters when it passed.

The law has remained unpopular to this day, and dozens upon dozens of Democrat lawmakers that were responsible for its passage have lost their jobs since its passage.

American voters aren’t stupid, as Obamacare’s designer says -- to the contrary, they have repeatedly raised their objections this government takeover of our healthcare system.

In fact, a majority of Americans still say they wish that Obamacare never passed.

And that’s why as recently as last week they sent majorities in both Chambers of Congress to Washington to dismantle this maliciously conceived boondoggle.

Mr. Speaker, Obamacare is arguably the worst piece of legislation to be passed in a generation.

The law is such a mess that it may collapse under a review by the Supreme Court next year.

The American people get this, even if the law’s designers do not.

That is why they continue to send my colleagues and I to Washington to fight to protect them from this disastrous law.

Thank you and I yield back.

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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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Op-Ed: Obamacare presents a warning for Obama on immigration

2014/11/13


GOP bill looks to scale back IRS involvement in Obamacare

2014/11/10


GOP bill would ease rules for employer mandate

2014/11/10


Black Legislation to Protect Jobs, Taxpayers from Obamacare

2014/11/10

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) has introduced legislation, H.R. 5557, the Streamlining Verification for Americans Act, to combat onerous reporting requirements that Obamacare’s employer mandate places on job creators. The Affordable Care Act has created a new element to the employer-employee relationship.  For the first time ever, the federal government—through the IRS—is forcing employers to collect their employee’s personal information every month starting January 1, 2015.  This information must include the health plans offered to their employees, spouses, and dependents, along with everyone’s date of birth and social security number.

“Obamacare is killing jobs and putting the personal information of Americans across the country at risk,” said Congressman Black. “These burdensome reporting requirements take time, money, and resources away from the daily operations of running a business. They also put sensitive personal information at risk as it is transmitted to the IRS, where it is then stored. My legislation would allow employers to voluntarily report employees’ health insurance status one time, up front at the beginning of the year, without including their confidential information. This commonsense measure should be considered immediately to ease Obamacare’s burdens on employers ahead of 2015.”

Obamacare’s taxpayer funded subsidies represent the largest new area of entitlement spending—nearly $1 trillion over ten years according to CBO.  In 2014 alone, subsidies will cost taxpayers $14 billion. Taxpayer money must be protected and like in any other entitlement program (SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, etc.), an applicant should be verified that they are eligible prior to receiving assistance.

“The Streamlining Verification for Americans Act would stop subsidies until verification is completed,” added Congressman Black. “That is what was originally required by the law and it is unacceptable that this Administration has doled out billions of taxpayer dollars without first checking to make sure those receiving subsidies are truly eligible.”

Bill text of H.R. 5557 can be found here.

Additional Information:

1/13/2014: Black Responds to HHS Report on Income Verification for Obamacare Subsidies

8/13/2014: Black Sends Letter to HHS on Obamacare Income Inconsistencies

8/29/2014: Black Sends Letter to HHS on Obama Administration’s Continued Failure to Verify Eligibility for Obamacare Subsidies

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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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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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