Affordable Care Act
Supreme Court Decides Affordable Care Act Cases: The Individual Mandate Survives
In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding. Read the opinion HERE.
FCC Narrowbanding Update
Narrowbanding is the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) terminology for a process that will reduce the size of radio channels used by many public safety and business systems in the US. The transition to narrowbanding has been mandated by the FCC to occur no later than January 1, 2013. Narrowbanding will cut in half the amount of radio spectrum used each time a radio transmits a message. The FCC’s goal is to create more available channels in congested frequency bands.
Click HERE for information regarding the FCC’s Narrowbanding requirement for some Public Safety and Public Works radio systems that will affect many municipalities across the state.
NEW “RED FLAG” REQUIREMENTS FROM THE FTC TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT MAY EFFECT MUNICIPALITIES
Click here to find an overview from the FTC on the regulations.
Click here for a sample ordinance on Red Flag Rules.
For questions about compliance with the Rules, you may contact RedFlags@ftc.gov.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a six month delay in enforcement of a new regulation, known as the ‘Red Flags’ rule, which would require government entities that defer payment for goods or services to implement identity theft prevention programs. As part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003, the ‘Red Flags’ rule was scheduled to go into effect on November 1. This six-month delay gives entities until May 1, 2009 to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs. To view the FTC press release, click here.
The new regulations require financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs. The FTC has determined that in cases where government entities defer payment for goods or services, they may be considered creditors.