Kentucky Chamber asks Congress to pass two bipartisan health care bills

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce recently sent letters to Kentucky’s federal House delegation in support of two pieces of legislation seeking to repeal two provisions within the Affordable Care Act that would negatively impact business in the state.  These issues are also key priorities for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and have bipartisan support.

  1. Expansion of the Small Group Market:

Prior to the enactment of the ACA, each state defined the size of their small group market.  Upon enactment, the ACA defined the small group market uniformly as serving those employers with 50 or fewer employees unless states chose to expand them to include up to 100 employees.  No states expanded the small group beyond 50.  In 2016, the ACA requires all states to expand the small group market to include employees up to 100.  This is a serious concern given the delay of many inter-related provisions and the likelihood that this expansion will destabilize the small group market and increase premiums dramatically for groups and their employees purchasing coverage in the small group market.

The Kentucky Chamber is urging our Congressional delegation to pass legislation that would permanently allow states to decide how to define the small group market.  This bill would reinstate the ability of states to make this decision, as they had pre-ACA.  A bipartisan bicameral effort is underway– Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Tony Cardenas (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1624 last week and the Kentucky Chamber thanks Congressman Guthrie for leading on such an important issue to Kentucky businesses.

  1. Excise Tax (commonly referred to as “The Cadillac Tax”)

The 40 percent excise tax is scheduled to be imposed on employer sponsored coverage with plan years beginning on or after Dec. 31, 2017. The Treasury Dept. has issued the first of two Notices requesting feedback and information in advance of promulgating a Proposed Rule.  Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH) has introduced H.R. 879, the “Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act” to repeal this tax on employer sponsored benefits.  This tax will affect employees and individuals whether they obtain their coverage through their employer or union, if they work for a private company, a municipality, a school district, the fire department, etc.  The Chamber has expressed our support and appreciation and continues to oppose the first-ever tax on health care benefits.

A full copy of the letters can be seen here.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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