New regs for Thursday: OSHA withdraws consultation proposal

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Though the agency did not mean to take away incentives, “in light of the magnitude of the concerns expressed compared to the relatively minor changes OSHA intended, the Agency has decided to withdraw the proposed rule” it said.

ObamaCare:
The Office of Personnel Management is proposing a rule that would fix a glitch in the Affordable Care Act that seemed to prevent the federal government from contributing to congressional staffers’ healthcare premiums.

Under terms of the law, members of Congress and their staff are required to get their health insurance through state-based marketplaces, but the legislation did not specify how their employer – the federal government – would contribute to those premiums.

The new rule would fix that oversight by letting the government contribute to their plans at the same rate it did for their current healthcare. 

Mortgages:
Six financial agencies are publishing a proposal that would amend a January rule on mortgage loans. The new measure would exempt some Dodd-Frank rules requiring appraisals for some higher priced mortgage loans. 

Great Lakes:
The Coast Guard wants to increase the fees for piloting in the Great Lakes. 

The new fees would match those charged by Canadian authorities and would also adjust the factors use to determine rates for vessels of different sizes.

Agriculture:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is lowering the fee for potatoes and sweet cherries grown in Washington charged by the local industry-backed oversight committees. 

Mine safety:
The Labor Department is asking the public about whether it can improve its rule on miners’ escape and refuge options during emergencies underground and hands-on training for emergency situations.

Tricare:
The Pentagon is issuing a method to reimburse some rural hospitals under the military’s Tricare healthcare system.

The hospitals will be paid back in a similarly to the way Medicare reimburses them. 

Additionally, the military wants to exempt retired service members, survivors of deceased active duty service members and their dependents who are currently enrolled in Tricare’s Prime coverage from future enrollment fee increases. 

Another proposal would establish new definitions for medical devices and technology under the Tricare rules. 

Acquisition:
The Defense Department wants to revise its acquisition rules to take into account changes to a list of least developed countries from which products can be acquired. The list was developed by the U.S. Trade Representative. 

The Pentagon is also finalizing guidance for the release of critical research information, proposing additional rules for acquisition contract financing, quality assurance and transportation issues. 

Transportation:
The Department of Transportation is removing its rules for advisory committees that new laws and regulations have made obsolete.