Americans for Tax Reform Will Rate the Vote on AHCA, HR 1628


Posted by ATR on Friday, March 24th, 2017, 11:40 AM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform WILL RATE a vote for passage of the American Health Care Act as a pro-taxpayer vote
 
ATR urges a YES vote
 
“The American Health Care Act is -- to start -- a $1 trillion tax cut and a $1.15 trillion spending cut over the next decade. It's passage makes fundamental tax reform possible this year. The AHCA block grants Medicaid and expands Health Savings Accounts. It’s a giant step forward in lowering taxes and reforming our nation's health care system,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
 
The American Health Care Act (HR 1628) being voted on today abolishes the following taxes imposed by Obama and the Democrat party in 2010 as part of Obamacare:
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax which hits 8 million Americans each year.
 This is part of a $270 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax. This is part of a $270 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax which hits 20 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts and 30 million Americans with Flexible Spending Accounts. This is a $6 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Flexible Spending Account tax on 30 million Americans. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Chronic Care Tax on 10 million Americans with high out of pocket medical expenses. This is a $126 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s HSA withdrawal tax. This is a $100 million tax cut.
 
-Abolishes Obamacare’s 10% excise tax on small businesses with indoor tanning services. This is a $600 million tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare health insurance tax. This is a $145 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare 3.8% surtax on investment income. This is a $172 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare medical device tax. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on prescription medicine. This is a $28 billion tax cut.
 
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on retiree prescription drug coverage. This is a $2 billion tax cut.

The AHCA Also Has Big League Spending Cuts:
 
Under AHCA, by 2021 federal spending on healthcare as a percentage of GDP is reduced from 6.9% to 6.3%. As time goes by, the spending reduction gets larger. See the first chart, below.
 
Under AHCA, by 2027 total federal spending as a percentage of GDP is reduced from 23.4% to 22.4%. See the second chart, below.
 
“In addition to abolishing Obamacare’s taxes, the AHCA reduces the total size of government permanently,” said Norquist.
 

Chart by Strategas Research Partners using OMB and CBO data
 

Chart by Strategas Research Partners using CBO data

Norquist Statement in Support of Obamacare Repeal and Replace Bill


Posted on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 11:00 PM PERMALINK

 

Norquist: Passage of AHCA makes fundamental tax reform possible this year

ATR founder and president Grover Norquist's statement in support of the American Health Care Act:

“The American Health Care Act is -- to start -- a $1 trillion tax cut and $1.2 trillion spending cut over the next decade. It's passage makes fundamental tax reform possible this year. The AHCA block grants Medicaid and expands Health Savings Accounts. It’s a giant step forward in reforming our nation's health care system.”

 


Competition Reduces Costs, Price Controls Reduce Innovation

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Posted by Adam Radman on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 6:02 PM PERMALINK

Congress is considering health care reforms to lower costs, increase access, and empower doctors. As part of this legislative agenda, they may consider price controls. Price controls never work as advertised. They do not lower costs and do not increase access to new medicines. Instead, they allow the government to ration the supply and development of new life-saving medicines at the expense of consumers, patients, and doctors. To learn more about the negatives consequences of price controls, tune in to ATR President Grover Norquist's latest podcast below: 

Photo Credit: 
Gage Skidmore

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Public Safety Success: South Carolina Reduces Crime and Reduces Spending

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Posted by Jorge Marin on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 3:45 PM PERMALINK

Nearly six years after enacting a major sentencing and corrections reform package, South Carolina’s prison population has declined 13% while violent and property crime rates have fallen 17% and 11%, respectively.

In 2010, lawmakers enacted S.B. 1154, the Omnibus Crime Reduction and Sentencing Reform Act. The law made South Carolina a leader among the dozens of states employing research-driven criminal justice policies to produce a greater public safety return on corrections spending.

Between 2011 and 2014, the state averted over $40 million in operating costs that would have been required to house a projected inmate population of over 28,000 by 2014 and avoided the construction of a new prison space projected to cost $371 million.

After decades of rising prison populations, reforms in 33 states have helped cut the national incarceration rate by 13 percent since 2007. States are finding smart, new ways to get tough on crime and, in the process, changing how America views crime and punishment.

This podcast goes through the dramatic changes in South Carolina’s justice system. It features leaders in South Carolina who are implementing their innovative reforms – state Senator Gerald Malloy (D); Bryan Stirling, S.C. state corrections director; and Adam Gelb, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts public safety performance project.

Voters and legislators are looking more intently at improving the results of incarceration. “There really is a sea change in this attitude towards crime and punishment across the country over the past ten years” said Gelb. Little wonder that two thirds of states have moved in this direction.

Photo Credit: 
Ron Cogswell

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ATR Supports Better Sentencing in Nebraska

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Posted by Sarah Caplin on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 1:40 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform this week released a letter to Nebraska lawmakers urging support for State Senator Ernie Chamber’s LB 447.

Nonviolent drug offenses make up a significant proportion of mandatory minimums and result in arbitrary and severe sentencing outcomes that neither fit the crime nor the individual's unique circumstances. Nebraska prisons are now filled with low-level offenders, resulting in overcapacity prison populations and higher costs for taxpayers.

LB 447 is an important step toward comprehensive sentencing reform. This legislation would turn sentencing over to the judges who know the specifics of a crime and can properly determine what an appropriate sentence is. This avoids excessive incarceration and maintains families intact for longer. Children and spouses will not have to be deprived of breadwinners, reducing the negative effects on their own lives.

Below is the text of the letter, which can also be found here.

March 23, 2017

Dear members of the Nebraska legislature,

On Behalf of Americans for Tax Reform and our supporters across Nebraska, I write today in strong support of LB 447. If passed, LB 447 would focus Nebraska’s overcrowded prisons on dangerous offenders and save the state several millions of dollars.

Nonviolent drug offenses, which make up a significant proportion of mandatory minimums, result in arbitrary and severe sentencing outcomes that neither fit the crime nor the individual's unique circumstances. Nebraska prisons are now filled with low-level offenders, resulting in overcapacity prison populations and higher costs for taxpayers. This is why over 30 states have reassessed mandatory minimum sentences in the last 15 years.

LB 447 is an important step toward comprehensive sentencing reform. Judges are denied the right to bring their experience, discretion, and sense of what is just into the sentencing procedure. This approach fills people who pose little risk to society, straining public resources without any gains in safety.

This legislation would turn sentencing over to the judges who know the specifics of a crime and can properly determine what an appropriate sentence is. This avoids excessive incarceration and maintains families intact for longer. Children and spouses will not have to be deprived of breadwinners, reducing the negative effects on their own lives.

In addition, LB 447 has the potential to save the state of Nebraska $3.5 million annually. The current results of a high rate of mandatory minimum offenders in prison are not cost-effective. As of 2013, Nebraska's correctional expenditures were nearly 193 million. Unless state policymakers act, they will likely need to spend another $100 million to build yet another prison.

Given the undeniable costs and dubious benefits of mass, long-term incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders, the Nebraska legislature should take steps to give judges more flexibility in sentencing those offenders. The Cornhusker State has already passed legislation to improve public safety through smarter crime policies, this bill represents another step in the right direction.

I encourage you to extend your support for this important legislation. For more information, please contact Jorge Marin in my office at jmarin@atr.org         

Regards,

Grover G. Norquist                                                      
President                                                                     
Americans for Tax Reform                                                                                                                       

Photo Credit: 
Michael Sauers

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Grover Norquist supports Sen. Flake's CRA on FCC privacy rules

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Posted by Katie McAuliffe on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 10:34 AM PERMALINK

ATR President Grover Norquist welcomes Sen. Flake's (R-AZ) proposal for using the CRA to rescind the FCC's false broadband privacy rules. In a recent letter to Congress, Norquist outlines the costs of additional FCC rules and regulations for American taxpayers and consumers and explains why the FTC maintains the correct approach to privacy protection.

The letter in full is written below:

"Dear Senators:
 
I write urging you to use your Congressional Review Act authority to withdraw the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband privacy rules and support the Federal Trade Commission framework for privacy protection.
 
We should always be wary of regulation for regulation’s sake. Duplicative rules at different agencies often create confusion and added costs without a significant benefit.
 
The Federal Trade Commission has been policing privacy for the last decade, and there has been no indication that other agencies are needed. The FCC is not needed here.
 
At a time when our goal is to pare down the cost of government and let taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, the FCC is no poster child for efficiency. 
 
FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly has pointed out that the FCC, through information gathering requests alone, requires 73 million hours and $800 million just to fill out requests. The Competitive Enterprise Institute found that in FY 2015 the FCC spent around $464 million in regulatory development and enforcement, and it accounts for more than $100 billion annually in regulatory and economic impact.
 
Please find enclosed a coalition letter from 21 organizations detailing why the FTC rules are the correct approach, and our opposition to the FCC rules. This letter requested that Congress use its Congressional Review Act authority to rescind the broadband privacy rules. It also details why we do not believe the rules will do as they claim.
 
Americans value their privacy.  That is why Americans for Tax Reform has been a vocal defender of privacy and the Fourth Amendment. However, the FCC rules use our highly valued privacy as a tool to empower agency regulatory expansion at the expense of consumers.
 
If you have any questions, please contact Katie McAuliffe by email, kmcauliffe@atr.org, or by phone, 202-785-0266."

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Oklahoma Lawmakers Advance Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Measures

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Posted by Sarah Caplin on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, 10:34 AM PERMALINK

This week, a number of criminal justice reform bills are moving through the Oklahoma legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. These historic votes are a huge step towards a better criminal justice system that will improve public safety, reduce the prison population, and save taxpayers millions of dollars.
 
Eight bills have passed through the Senate, and three other pieces of legislation have passed through the House. These measures, based on recommendations from Gov. Mary Fallin’s Justice Reform Task Force, will continue Oklahoma’s effort to modify the state's criminal justice system. 
 
“Making smart, data-driven decisions on how to increase safety while decreasing our overcapacity prisons is key to pursuing smaller, more efficient, and more moral government.” said Gov. Fallin.
 
According to the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force, these vital changes will save the state $1.9 billion in the coming years. Oklahoma currently holds the second-highest imprisonment rate in the United States. These bills address the state’s prison population by providing individualized treatment for those in the justice system who need mental health or substance abuse services, reforming sentencing practices, and modifying penalties for non-violent crimes.
 
Americans for Tax reform applauds these positive steps and hopefully this is a prologue to more legislation to come.
 
Photo Credit: 
Jimmy Emerson

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AHCA Toolkit

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Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 1:12 PM PERMALINK

Grover Norquist Letter in Support of AHCA 

ATR Statement in Support of AHCA 

Full List of Obamacare Taxes Repealed

How the AHCA Shrinks Federal Spending 

Grover Norquist Washington Examiner op-ed in support of AHCA: A vote against the House Republican healthcare bill is a vote in favor of Obamacare

Norquist on Fox Business Network: AHCA is One of the Most Conservative Pieces of Legislation DC Has Ever Seen 

ATR: AHCA Abolishes Obamacare Chronic Care Tax on Middle Class

ATR: AHCA Abolishes Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax

Photo Credit: Jocelyn Wallace 


ATR Supports Rep. McHenry’s "Supporting America’s Innovators Act” of 2017 (H.R. 1219)

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Posted by Daniel Uzi Frydman on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 12:10 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform this week released a letter to Congressional lawmakers urging support for Representative Patrick McHenry’s (R-N.C.) “Supporting America's Innovators Act of 2017”, H.R.1219.

H.R.1219 amends a specific exemption under the Investment Company Act of 1940 by increasing the investor limitation from 100 to 250 people for qualifying venture capital funds. The bill would benefit small businesses and startups by incentivizing venture capitalists to grow their investments in rural-state entrepreneurs. Local economies that host these small business and startups would benefit from H.R.1219 too, as the increased financial fluidity in their cities would only stimulate economic growth for all.

With bipartisan support in the House Financial Services Committee, H.R.1219 passed through the committee with a 54 to 2 vote. H.R. 1219's Senate companion legislation, S. 444, also passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and is now awaiting a full Senate vote.

Below is the text of the letter, which can also be found here.

March 22, 2017

Dear Members of Congress:

I write to express support for H.R. 1219, the Supporting America’s Innovators Act of 2017. Introduced by Representative Patrick McHenry, H.R. 1219 would increase access to capital for America’s small businesses thus improving entrepreneur’s ability to grow their business and compete. I urge all members of Congress to support this important legislation.

In recent years it has been increasingly challenging for many small businesses to access the necessary financial capital to fund their operations. H.R. 1219 would allow certain entrepreneurs to receive funds from a larger number of investors in order to better fund new start up efforts or to expand their business operations. 

Currently, the Investment Company Act of 1940 limits the number of investors allowed in a “qualified venture capital fund” to 100 in order for the fund to be exempt from registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). H.R. 1219 would amend the 100-invester cap currently in the Act to allow for up to 250 investors.

Legislation similar to H.R. 1219 passed the House in 2016 with a bipartisan vote of 388-9. H.R. 1219 passed out of the House Financial Services Committee on March 9 of this year with a vote of 54-2. Both votes evidence strong support in Congress. A companion bill has also been introduced in the Senate under the same title.

I urge all members of Congress to support H.R. 1219. Doing so will help to increase access to capital that is vital to America’s entrepreneurs and small businesses.   

Sincerely,                                

Grover G. Norquist                                                    
President                                                                    
Americans for Tax Reform

Photo Credit: Brookings Institution


ATR Urges HHS Secretary Tom Price to Provide Regulatory Relief to Emerging Vapor Market

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Posted by Paul Blair on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 12:09 PM PERMALINK

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, ATR president Grover Norquist today asked for an immediate two-year delay of pending pre-market review requirements imposed by the Food and Drug Administration's May 2016 "Deeming Rule." The Rule applies to vapor products, electronic cigarettes, and premium cigars. Absent immediate action by Congress or the Administration to roll back the FDA's new rules, more than ten thousand new businesses in the United States will be required to comply with an application process so expensive and onerous that over the next two years more than 95% of vapor product manufacturers and retail small businesses will be forced to shut down. 

The C.D.C. estimates that more than 9 million U.S. adult consumers use vapor products, which are at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes, according to the Royal College of Physicians and other leading public health organizations. 

Under the new rules, new smoke-free vapor products will be subject to the regulatory review process established in the 2009-passed Tobacco Control Act. From the letter:

"In 2009 when Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA)... the FDA was granted authority to impose new regulations upon tobacco products such as cigarettes, smokeless and roll-your-own tobacco. A “predicate date” of February 15, 2007 was established whereby products on the market at or before this date were exempt from pre-market FDA review. That look-back period was just over two years when the TCA was signed in 2009. The look-back period for newly deemed products is ten years. 

The FDA’s May 2016 Deeming Rule requires products which did not exist in 2007 – such as vapor products – to undergo the pre-market review process set up in the TCA. The process was designed to make it extraordinarily difficult to introduce new products to market, which is why it was supported by organizations like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids."

There were a number of new requirements established in the FDA's May 2016 Rule. 

"The most significant of the requirements imposed by the FDA’s new Deeming Rule is a requirement that all manufacturers of vapor products submit every product currently available to consumers for pre-market review, a process that every single manufacturer of cigarettes in the United State avoided when the TCA was signed into law. The Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) requires businesses to spend in excess of $300,000 per product and at least 500 hours of time per application. Even if businesses could afford this investment, the process is designed to end in failure. Many small businesses produce hundreds of these products and would be forced to close their doors as a result." 

ATR is requesting a two-year delay in the PMTA filing deadline for newly deemed products. 

I am asking you to delay the PMTA filing deadline by at least two years as Congress considers an alternative approach to regulating these very low risk products. There are multiple efforts with bipartisan support aimed at addressing the issues I’ve outlined, including the Cole-Bishop Amendment to the FY17 House Agriculture Appropriations Bill and House Resolution 1136, also sponsored by Congressman Tom Cole (R-Okla.). It is paramount that Congress acts this year to modernize the February 2007 predicate date for newly deemed products on the market. 

The FDA is an agency of HHS and its commissioner reports to the Secretary of HHS. 

With the emergence of smoke-free vapor products, millions of U.S. adults have successfully quit smoking traditional cigarettes with a variety of products that did not exist in 2007. ​Imposing this retroactive and onerous set of pre-market review rules upon reduced risk products is illogical and stands to harm decades of efforts to reduce the harm assocaited with cigarette use. The original Act was designed to make it extremely difficult to introduce new tobacco products, and not a single cigarette on the market today was forced to go through this review process. ATR strongly encourages HHS and the FDA to rein in this overreach with immediate action to delay all future filing and application deadlines imposed by the FDA's Deeming Rule. 

The full letter can be read here.

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