Welcome back, Congress. We hope you had a good holiday break. And for those who were just elected, welcome to the nation’s capital.
You have a lot on your plate: Tax reform; infrastructure spending; regulatory reform. And of course tackling health care.
Making changes to the nearly seven-year-old, 2,000 page Affordable Care Act—Obamacare--involves a lot of moving parts.
One item that can't fall through the cracks is eliminating Obamacare taxes – the Health Insurance Tax (HIT), the Medical Device Tax and the Cadillac Tax.
First, the HIT is a tax on health plans sold in the fully-insured market, 86% of these plans are purchased by small businesses.
Since theybear much of the brunt of the tax, many small business owners feel they’re being punishing for offering health insurance to their employees.
“We are fully-insured. We offer great benefits for our employees,” said Donna Milavetz of OnSite Care in Salt Lake City, Utah. “And we’ve experienced over the last two years a 36% increase in our insurance premiums, and this year we’re looking at a 28% increase on our insurance premiums.”
“We go out every day and think, ‘How in the world can we keep paying 100% for our employees?’” said Gordon Hunt of Illuminating Technologies in Greensboro, NC.
What’s more, the HIT is a middle class tax. American Action Forum research finds that families will fork over $5,000 in higher premiums over the next ten years because of the HIT. AAF also finds that half of the tax increase will be paid by Americans with incomes between $10,000 and $50,000.
In 2015 a bipartisan group of lawmakers came out supporting HIT's repeal and at the end of 2015, this tax was delayed. But under current law, it will be re-imposed in 2018. The cost of this tax will begin to be factored into insurance premiums for individuals and small employers who enroll or renew in health insurance annual coverage. That is, unless the HIT is repealed.
Washington must take swift action to repeal three significant taxes that are increasing the cost of health care for businesses, individuals and families. Repealing the Health Insurance Tax, the Medical Device Tax and the Cadillac Tax must be the first order of Congressional business to help our country’s businesses, as well as individuals and families. Make one of your early 2017 goals to end these taxes.
Click here to learn more about repealing health insurance taxes.