Sean Hackbarth Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


June 22, 2017


Senate Republicans released a draft of their health care reform bill. There a lot that’s good in the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.”

For starters it eliminates the employer mandate, a provision that’s kept many small businesses from hiring workers.

The bill also repeals a number of job-killing taxes:

  • The Health Insurance Tax that targets plans on the fully-insured market. Eighty-six percent of plans are purchased by small businesses.
  • The Medical Device Tax which has cost our economy tens of thousands of jobs.
  • The Tanning Tax, a 10% tax on tanning salons, resulting in more than 9,600 salons closing, according to the American Suntanning Association.

Another tax, the Cadillac Tax on high-value insurance plans that would force employers to offer their employees and their families less robust health coverage, is delayed to 2026.

Also on the plus side, the bill would allow consumers to use their Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts to buy over-the-counter drugs.

All in all, it’s a positive move to improving our health care system. “The Senate health care bill will help to stabilize crumbling insurance markets caused by the Affordable Care Act, work to curb runaway premium increases, and jettison ill-conceived Washington mandates and taxes that have weighed heavily on our economy,” said U.S. Chamber president and CEO Tom Donohue. “This is an extremely important step in putting doctors and patients ahead of politicians when it comes to American health care.”

About the authors

Sean Hackbarth

Sean Hackbarth

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.

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