There’s a new Obamacare bill in Congress that finance chiefs will definitely want to keep an eye on.
The Jobs and Premium Protection Act, which was introduced by Reps. Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Jim Matheson (D-UT), would repeal a sales tax on health insurance plans that is slated to take effect in 2014. It would generate a total of $8 billion in its first year, and that jumps to $14.3 billion in 2018.
Overall, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the tax will exceed $100 billion over the course of the next decade.
The tax is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and was created to help pay for the cost of that healthcare reform law.
However, opponents of the reform rule argue that the cost will be passed directly onto consumers – and individuals and small businesses will be the hardest hit by the fees.
However, opponents of the reform rule argue that the cost will be passed directly onto consumers, hurting individuals and small businesses.
For example, in comments sent to the House Ways and Means Committee Work Groups, the advocacy group America’s Health Insurance Plans argued that the “tax will be particularly painful for vulnerable populations, including consumers who buy coverage on their own, small business owners who struggle to provide coverage to their employees, seniors who rely on the Medicare Advantage program as a health care safety net, and low-income people who are served by state Medicaid programs.”
And a number of small business groups are also arguing that the bill will results in the demise of thousands of private-sector jobs.
‘Slow the growth of health care costs’
Of course, proponents of the bill say critics’ fears are unfounded.
According to Paul Van de Water, an economist with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “The health insurance tax forms part of a carefully thought-out structure to expand health insurance coverage and slow the growth of health care costs without adding to the budget.”
Currently, the bill has 218 co-sponsors in the House.
We’ll keep you posted on its progress.