“Lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced bipartisan legislation Thursday to remove restrictions on tax-exempt health spending accounts, the latest provision of the healthcare reform law to come under attack by Democrats.
The bill would nix a provision that since January has required a prescription for buying over-the-counter medicines with medical savings accounts such as Flexible Spending Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts. The language was added as a way to keep the bill’s costs down because it was estimated to save $5 billion over 10 years by cutting down on unnecessary drug purchases.”
“It is three years before most of the new health-care law kicks in, but already some of America’s largest employers are peppering the Internal Revenue Service with concerns that making the changes will be far more complex than they anticipated. At issue is one of the law’s central requirements: employers with 50 or more full-time workers must offer affordable insurance or pay a penalty. It sounds simple enough. But in crafting the rules, the IRS and two other federal agencies are now tackling basic yet messy questions, such as who counts as a full-time worker and how do companies measure whether insurance is ‘affordable.'”
“The 2010 health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), hits small business with a barrage of inequities. Among the most egregious is the health insurance tax (HIT) launched by the law’s Section 9010. Ostensibly a tax on insurers, its real effect will be hundreds of billions of dollars of taxation on people who purchase coverage in the fully-insured market – mostly small business employers and employees and the self-employed. These are the people who usually generate around two-thirds of America’s new jobs.”
“House appropriators on Thursday approved a $19.9 billion financial services spending bill for 2012 that prohibits the federal government from enforcing the healthcare reform law’s requirement that individuals buy insurance.”
“A divided American Medical Association will consider withdrawing its support of a key tenet of the health overhaul law that requires Americans to purchase an insurance plan. The Chicago-based national doctors group, which represents nearly a quarter-million physicians, is being asked by several medical societies within the organization to change its stance in favor of the ‘individual mandate.'”
“Specifically, the government’s position rests on two false economic claims. First, that an individual’s decision not to buy health insurance substantially affects interstate commerce by increasing the costs of health insurance for all Americans.
Second, that the health care industry is ‘unique’ because of its high rates of participation, high costs, federal mandates and the purported uncertainty surrounding when care will be required.”
“House Republicans have targeted for repeal a tax on tanning-bed services meant to offset costs of the new healthcare law. Rep. Michael Grimm (N.Y.) and 23 other Republicans have co-sponsored legislation to repeal the 10 percent tax included in last year’s healthcare overhaul. While a tax on tanning beds might seem like a minor issue, Grimm argues it is a serious matter, as the tax hurts small businesses and the economy. “
“Are small-business owners taking advantage of a new tax credit made available last year under the Affordable Care Act?
The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, an advocacy group that has been critical of the health-care law, says no – and offers its own research indicating that owners aren’t finding the tax credit useful or applicable to their companies… The SBE Council polled a random sample of 304 small-business owners and found that only 7% have taken advantage of the health-care tax credit.”
“One of the key components of ObamaCare, tax subsidies to purchase federally approved health insurance, will substantially increase the number of people who are not paying for government services and thus have a lower incentive to be concerned about record-breaking government spending. These tax subsidies, which take effect in 2014, will also harm the economy by increasing the national deficit and by creating huge marginal tax rates that will discourage productivity for many households. Obamacare’s tax subsidies are one of the primary reasons to repeal Obamacare.”
“This summer the IRS is set to finish writing the rules for one of ObamaCare’s new taxes–its 2.3% levy on medical device companies. Congress should wrest the pen from the taxman’s hand and scrap the tax entirely. Not only will it raise the prices American patients pay for life-saving medical equipment, it will also destroy thousands of high-quality jobs across the country.”