Why business supports the House Republican healthcare plan
March 23, 2017
Our country’s healthcare system is at a crossroads and inaction is not an option. The cost of health insurance has increased significantly while the number of private coverage options has decreased. These failings have all come at a very high cost to the federal government, to employers, and to individuals.
The AHCA will improve access to affordable coverage by repealing ObamaCare’s tax on health insurance, which merely drives up premiums. Repealing the prescriptive platinum, gold, silver, and bronze plan limitations in the individual and small group market will open the door to a wider range of coverage options. By changing the age-rating rule, the AHCA will improve coverage affordability for younger workers. The expansion of health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts will make healthcare more affordable for millions of Americans.
The AHCA will also preserve the employer-sponsored healthcare system that more than 177 million American workers depend on for quality care. By ensuring that the new healthcare tax credits are not available to those with employer sponsored insurance and by further delaying the so-called Cadillac Tax, which penalizes businesses for offering robust coverage, the legislation protects the employer-sponsored system.
Further, the bill will help reform our healthcare system to contribute to, rather than impede, economic growth. ObamaCare has proven to be a burden on our entire economy by hitting job creators with higher costs, taxes, and mandates. The AHCA would lift this burden and promote faster, long-term economic growth by eliminating the employer mandate penalty, making it easier for businesses to redirect resources to investments and growth.
Perhaps most important, the AHCA supports growth by repealing a dozen ObamaCare tax increases and reducing the overall tax burden by over $900 billion over the next decade. The tax increases repealed by the AHCA include the health insurance tax, a literal $145 billion tax on health insurance, and the medical device tax, a $20 billion tax on devices used to treat patients.
Thomas J. Donohue is president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.