As time passes, so do legislative days in Washington, D.C. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) continues to remind senators and members of Congress that the continued lack of action on health care now means that the medical device tax and health insurance tax (HIT) will go into effect in 2018 if not fully repealed or delayed. The “Cadillac” tax looms in 2020 following a short-term reprieve granted by Congress in 2015 and must also be addressed to avoid a cycle of temporary delays. Manufacturers are already planning for the potential of a 40 percent increase on some employees’ health insurance plans.
Today, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) with Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) as original cosponsors, introduced S. 1978, the Small Business and Family Health Tax Relief Act, a two-year delay of the HIT. This proposal also seeks to make this fee tax deductible in 2020 when it goes back into effect. Manufacturers appreciate Sen. Heitkamp’s leadership with an important health care cost solution that manufacturers and small businesses need.
Efforts to put a hold on a tax that only increases health care premiums on employees and families are supported by manufacturers. Sen. Heitkamp’s bill adds to a list of other solutions led by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and several Senate Republicans as well as bipartisan efforts led by Reps. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who last month sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Ranking Member Nancy Pelosi urging the House to delay the HIT.
Now in the final quarter of 2017, House and Senate legislative leaders must act now to reach an agreement to address the HIT and these other negative Affordable Care Act taxes that not only add to costs but also discourage innovation, growth and job creation.