The Senate this week took an important first step toward protecting millions of seniors, families, and small businesses across the country from significantly higher health insurance premiums next year.
Introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and a group of fellow Republican senators, the Healthcare Tax Relief Act would delay for one year Obamacare’s looming health insurance tax, which would add hundreds of dollars to the cost of health insurance for individuals, families, small businesses and seniors in 2018. All told, the health insurance tax, or HIT, would slap a $22 billion fee on millions of insurance policies.
“We need to look at every avenue we can to provide relief to the American people from the high costs created by the Affordable Care Act,” Gardner said in a statement. He later added that “President Obama promised that this law would drive down costs, and this tax is just another example of how that’s not even close to being reality.”
Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), John Barrasso (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R--TX), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Tim Scott (R-SC) joined Gardner in introducing the legislation on Tuesday.
TAKE ACTION: Click here to tell your lawmaker to Stop the HIT
If Congress fails to pass the Healthcare Tax Relief Act, the health insurance tax would result in average premium increases ranging from $158 per person in the individual market to $540 per family in the large group market to and from $245 per Medicare Advantage member. Conversely, if the health insurance tax is repealed, it would save individuals and families up to $6,675 over the coming decade.
“We know Congress has a long to-do list this fall, and we want to remind them that delaying the health insurance tax must be a priority,” said Neil Bradley, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President and Chief Policy Officer. “In a few months this tax will return, and small business owners, families, and seniors will shoulder the cost. We want to make sure these constituents are contacting their representatives because their insurance premiums are going to be even higher because of this tax.”
Health insurance premiums have gone up enough already. America’s small businesses, seniors and families are counting on their representatives in Congress to keep their premiums from soaring even higher, and that means passing the Healthcare Tax Relief Act – and passing it now. With only a few weeks left on the legislative calendar, lawmakers have no time to waste.
Related: See how the health insurance tax would affect your premiums
Tell Congress to Stop the HIT