On the Senate Finance Health Care Bill

A statement from Jay Timmons, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, reacting to the 14-9 vote in the Senate Finance Committee to pass out health care reform legislation this afternoon.

While acknowledging the improvements the Finance Committee version has made — no public option, for example — the NAM objects to major provisions. Excerpt:

[The] NAM remains deeply concerned that the Senate Finance Committee’s bill overall will add costs to the health care system and, by extension, the manufacturing community, on top of the already spiraling costs manufacturers and their employees face today.

Specifically, we believe the excise tax imposed on insurance plans will have a negative economic impact on many manufacturers. And, the Finance Committee’s imposition of industry-specific fees singles out businesses solely to raise revenues – costs that ultimately will be passed onto consumers.

The NAM is also concerned about the proposed tax on employer-provided prescription benefits, limits on Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and new requirements on corporate information reporting.

Lastly, we are disappointed that the bill does not address the costly issue of “defensive medicine” through medical malpractice reform in any meaningful way.

The Finance Committee’s news release is here, and Sen. Max Baucus’ opening statement is here.

UPDATE (5:15 p.m.): Here’s the vote tally.

UPDATE (5:20 p.m.): A tally of the $507 billion in new taxes and fees.

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