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ADA advocates for ERISA reform

Honolulu—The 2009 House of Delegates directed the Association to "aggressively seek" legislation amending the 35-year-old ERISA law to provide new consumer safeguards and report back to the 2010 House.

"Resolved, that the appropriate agencies of the ADA identify those features of ERISA that exempt some plans from state regulation to protect consumers," says Res. 33H-2009. "And be it further resolved that the ADA aggressively seek legislation to change the Act to create these consumer safeguards under federal law or allow regulation of these plans by the states."

The new policy statement, "Advocating for ERISA Reform," calls for a progress report to the 2010 House of Delegates.

The Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974 governs employment-based retirement and health benefits in the private sector. The frequently debated law has come under congressional and judicial scrutiny and is a key part of the health care reform debate.

Section 514 of the ERISA law is commonly seen as a barrier for states in enacting health reform that affects the employer-based system, the Congressional Research Service told Congress in a recent report.