The Affordable Care Act is now the law of the land. But some of its provisions are so flawed that they actually undermine key objectives of the law, which if the name is to be believed, include providing affordable health coverage to more Americans.
In many ways, U.S. health care is the envy of the world--it has helped many individuals live longer than ever and enjoy a better quality of life than previously possible. However, we continue to face the challenge of making quality health care more affordable, more accessible, and more reliable for all Americans. The Chamber is focused on promoting effective private sector solutions to our health care challenges that will help control costs, expand access, and improve the quality of care.
Our country's health care system has many strengths: tremendous medical innovation, cutting edge technology and drugs, and world-leading medical institutions. Nevertheless, there are huge variations in quality, cost, and access to care within our system. American patients are increasingly suffering from costly and often deadly chronic diseases that are many times preventable. And even though the United States pays more for health care than any other nation, we aren't getting our money's worth when you consider health outcomes and efficiency of care.
Over five years after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), further reforms are needed to achieve lower costs, innovative and high-quality care, and better health for all Americans.
Through its Health Care Solutions Council, the Chamber is working to achieve greater value in health care, measured by more affordable coverage options and improved access to higher-quality and prevention-oriented care. Many of these solutions are being pioneered in the private sector, as America's employers implement innovative reforms in health care and wellness. By prioritizing efforts to improve the employer-sponsored health care system--which covers millions of Americans--we will use these solutions to drive system-wide changes that can lead to better population health and sustainable health care costs.
The Chamber's health care priorities include:
- Advancing successful ideas from the private sector that reduce costs, advance quality, and improve health
- Promoting reforms that provide relief to employers and employees as the ACA is implemented including:
- Reducing the harm of the employer mandate by restoring the 40-hour work week;
- Repealing taxes that increase premiums and cost jobs such as the 40% excise tax, medical device tax, and the health insurance tax; and
- Improving flexibility for tax-preferred accounts that encourage careful health care spending like FSAs, HSAs, and HRAs
- Raising awareness of the positive effects of wellness and chronic disease management programs in the workplace to improve health and productivity
- Expanding access to coverage and services by strengthening the employer-sponsored system
- Tell Congress to restore the 40-hour work week. The 30-hour definition under Obamacare forces employers to restructure their workforce and hurts employees through lost wages and hours. Learn more from the More Time for Full Time Coalition.
- Prepare your small business for the employer mandate and other major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) with these educational resources including a penalty calculator, a coverage or penalty chart, and more.
- Organize a wellness program for your workplace with the Chamber's Workplace Wellness Toolkit. Nearly 169 million Americans health insurance through their employer. As the largest purchaser of health care, employers of all sizes are uniquely situated to provide leadership in finding solutions and exerting transformative change.
- Subscribe to the Health Care RSS feed to receive the latest health care insight and analysis from the U.S. Chamber blog.
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Businesses have called on agency to "delay the expansion of the small group market definition as soon as possible." About 3.4 million workers and over 150,000 American businesses could be impacted.
Employers could be fined $36,500 per worker for helping their employees with their health care costs.
According the Academy of Actuaries, 3.4 million workers in over 150,000 businesses could be affected.
The tax isn't good tax policy and is harming an industry in a globally competitive environment.
For many small employers, Obamacare has been a prescription for higher premiums and less certainty.
To: Congressman Charles Boustany
Congressman Mike Thompson
From: R. Bruce Josten
RE: H.R. 2911, the "Small Business Health Care Relief Act"
To: Senator Chuck Grassley
Senator Heidi Heitkamp
From: R. Bruce Josten
Re: S. 1697, the "Small Business Healthcare Relief Act"
At the Innovations in Workplace and Community Wellness: Bridging Personal and Population Health forum in April 2015, topics of discussion included innovative workplace wellness programs, how implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is impacting public health, and strategies to influence behavioral change.
The health care status quo is still in place, we're still stuck with the mandates, regulations, and taxes.