Open Competition Laws Can Save American Taxpayers Billions on Infrastructure

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by William H Paul on Thursday, September 21st, 2017, 11:27 AM PERMALINK

Funding for state infrastructure improvement projects has increasingly become a point of contention in the last decade. With state and local lawmakers examining new sources of revenue, tax increases are often pinned as the solution. Yet increasing taxes ignores more efficient legislative solutions that could free up billions in funding, such as implementing “Open Competition” laws. Currently, outdated “Closed Competition” laws are wasting taxpayer dollars, promoting cronyism, and whittling out American firms from the procurement process.    

State and local governments throughout the country are imposing these anti-competitive practices – most notably in regards to materials used in water infrastructure projects. Certain products and materials, often proven to be safer and more affordable, are unfairly outlawed from being used in publicly funded projects.

Many closed competition laws were put in place decades before new and advanced materials existed, or were put in place for protectionist reasons. As a result, American taxpayers have been deprived of savings that result from competition in the procurement process by governments eager to pick winners and losers.

Cities in Arkansas, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio have all significantly saved taxpayer dollars since implementing open competition laws. Fayetteville, Arkansas implemented open competition laws and saved taxpayers $278,625 per mile on water infrastructure piping compared to Hot Springs, which has closed competition laws in place.

Similarly, Charlotte North Carolina implemented open competition laws resulting in taxpayer savings of $155, 902 per mile of pipe compared to closed competition Raleigh. All told open competition cities see on average taxpayer savings of $100,000 or more per mile of pipe compared to closed competition cities, and that is just with regard to water infrastructure. 

Opponents of open competition naturally are the protected interests white-knuckling their 100 year-old monopolies that see competition as a threat to the status quo. Yet it is the status quo that is driving up the cost of infrastructure projects for state and local taxpayers and pushing lawmakers to turn to big government solutions such as increasing the gas tax.

Additionally, open competition laws could also be beneficial at the federal level. A study released by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) found that an entire replacement of U.S. water infrastructure would cost $1.32 trillion. Transitioning to an open competition process would reduce that number by 28% or $371 billion.

As these taxpayer savings relate only to water infrastructure projects, the savings to taxpayers from a wider application of open competition laws to the government infrastructure procurement process could be even greater. In addition to states, Congressional lawmakers should look to introduce federal legislation that allows for an open and competitive procurement process for construction materials.

In May of this year, Americans for Tax Reform, joined by 23 other organizations, led a coalition letter to Congress requesting that any federal infrastructure legislation should include language that clearly requires an open and competitive bidding process for materials that will be used in infrastructure projects.

In the coming year as state and federal lawmakers begin looking for ways to shore up spending on infrastructure projects, passing legislation to implement open competition laws should be an obvious free-market solution. Doing so would provide lawmakers a chance to be efficient stewards of taxpayer dollars, prevent misguided tax hikes, and improve America’s infrastructure. 

Photo Credit: Jenny Tabrum

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Dem Governor Candidate Rips Up Tax Pledge

Posted by Hunter Harmer on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, 2:47 PM PERMALINK

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Jay Gonzalez (D) is ready to raise taxes. Residents of Massachusetts, consider yourself warned.

Gonzales posted a video to Facebook this week after receiving a copy of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The Pledge, which ATR offers to every candidate and incumbent for state and federal office, is a written promise to a lawmaker’s constituents detailing their commitment to oppose all tax increases.

In his brief video, Gonzalez criticizes Grover Norquist, President and founder of ATR, for his resolution to limit government. After admitting that Massachusetts is “the most expensive state in the nation”, Mr. Gonzales affirmed his support for a tax increase.

“So Grover, here’s what I say to your Taxpayer Protection Pledge” said Mr. Gonzalez as he proceeded to rip up the printed document at the end of the video.

In a tweet, Norquist replied: “You are a Democrat running for Governor and you are promising to increases taxes yet again on the Bay state. Boring. Been there. Did that.”

Nearly 1,400 incumbent elected officials, from state representative to governor to U.S. Senator, have signed the Pledge to their constituents.

Gonzalez is expected to run against the Republican incumbent, Gov. Charlie Baker. 

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Bernie Calls For 52% Tax Rate for Government Healthcare

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017, 1:42 PM PERMALINK

Sen. Bernie Sanders is once again calling for extreme tax hikes to pay for his plans, this time for a government-run single payer health care system. The plan will come in at a cost of $1.38 trillion per year and will impose across the board tax hikes, including:

-An income tax rate of 52%

-Taxing ALL capital gains as ordinary income, meaning the current top capital gains rate of 23.8% would jump to 52%

-Massive hike in the Death Tax

-American families making as little as $28,900 per year will face a 2.2 percent tax on their income

-A $630 billion tax hike aimed at employers, which will just end up hitting workers

-Sanders also calls for more tax complexity and more tax brackets: 37%, 43%, 48% and of course the 52% 

ATR commends Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) for asking CBO to score the Sanders plan. As with most left wing programs, the Sanders plan will undoubtedly cost much more than he claims.

Photo Credit: "Bernie Sanders" by Scott Pelkey ScottP-Photography/Flickr, Under CC BY-SA 2.0

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Watchdog Report Shows Tennessee Misused $100K in Asset Forfeiture Funds on Catering

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Matthew Adams on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017, 11:23 AM PERMALINK

The Tennessee Department of Safety wrongly paid for food totaling over $110K with funds collected through civil asset forfeiture, the Inspector General reported last Thursday.

Passed in 1984, the Comprehensive Crime Control Act established the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Program (AFP) which allows law enforcement to seize assets from individuals suspected with involvement in illegal activity, even if there are no formal charges.

Under the AFP, the Equitable Sharing Program was established allowing state and local law enforcement agencies involved in federal crime crackdown efforts to claim a portion of any seized money and property. This allows local police forces to ignore state property protections in favor of lower federal standards

While civil asset forfeiture comes under greater scrutiny in recent years, there are some limits set on the scope in which seized funds can be spent on, barring agencies from purchasing bayonets, grenade launchers, food, and other extravagant expenses.

Between 2014 and 2016 Tennessee’s Department of Safety spent $112,614 of seized cash on catering, banquet tickets, and retail food purchases, a clear violation of the limits established by the Department of Justice.

When the Inspector General presented this finding to the department its Controller said “that he did not know these expenditures were unallowable”.

Beyond that, the agency further neglected to adhere to DOJ rules, failing to file receipts of requested funds, and even filed their FY 2014 report 19 days late.

It’s clear that DOJ efforts to reign in and prevent abuse of the Equitable Sharing Program have failed, and the problem lies in the fundamental flaws surrounding the Asset Forfeiture Program as a whole where due process and presumption of innocence are blatantly ignored in favor of big-government draconian policies.

These developments are just another example of countless abuses resulting from the program. The men and women of law enforcement are entrusted with enforcing the rule of law, yet civil asset forfeiture undermines their ability to do so by taking advantage of the communities they are sworn to protect. In an age of great divisiveness, the last thing our police need is greater scrutiny and condemnation due this government program that only furthers the polarization and makes their jobs harder.

This leaves it upon state legislatures and the federal government to end civil asset forfeiture as a practice so that innocent Americans should no longer have to fear that their property will be taken away without due process.

The full report can be found here: Audit of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Equitable Sharing Program Activities Nashville, Tennessee

Photo Credit: Michael Galkovsky

Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce the Protecting the American Process for Election Results Act

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Matthew Adams on Friday, September 15th, 2017, 4:20 PM PERMALINK

On Friday, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist wrote to Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Rep. James Langevin (R.I) expressing his support for their bill, HR 3751, the Protecting the American Process for Election Results (PAPER) Act. If enacted, the PAPER Act would take the necessary steps to secure and strengthen the nation’s election security system.

In an age of heightened security risks from nations like North Korea and Iran trying to disrupt our nation’s elections, this bill is the first step in ensuring that American voters exercise their right without interference from those hoping to undermine our democratic institutions. Our representational democracy is built upon a reliable election process, and this must be safeguarded at all costs.

In a press release on the bill, Rep. Meadows said, “the PAPER Act would be a major step forward in securing our election process, updating the security of our voter logs, and allowing for efficient and effective audits of election results”.

Mr. Norquist urges all of Rep. Meadows’ and Rep. Langevin’s colleagues to “support this important common-sense measure”.

The full letter can be found here

Photo Credit: Michael R.

88 Conservative Groups Urge Passage of Pro-Growth Tax Reform in 2017

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Thursday, September 14th, 2017, 5:00 AM PERMALINK

Congress must pass pro-growth tax reform in 2017, a coalition of 88 conservative groups and activists led by Americans for Tax Reform and Americans for Prosperity today wrote in a letter to leaders in the White House, House, and Senate. 

As the letter notes, the tax code today serves well-connected special interests, rather than hard working American families. Americans are frustrated with this rigged system, and it is imperative that lawmakers ensure that comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform is signed into law this year. 

The full letter can be found here and is below: 

Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, Secretary Mnuchin, Director Cohn, Chairman Hatch, and Chairman Brady: 

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write to urge passage of comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform in 2017.

In the past 30 years, the tax code has expanded in size and complexity. Today, the code serves well-connected special interests, not hard working American families. After many years of inaction, Congress and the administration have a chance to fix our broken tax system this year by making it fairer, simpler, and less burdensome.

There is broad consensus on the need for tax reform. With the 2018 midterm elections in sight, it is also crucial that bold policies keeping the promises made to the American people are realized soon.

Numerous polls have shown widespread public support for tax reform that lowers rates for all and reforms the code based on the principles of simplicity, fairness, and equity. Americans are frustrated with the rigged system that favors the politically connected and lobbyists at the expense of ordinary Americans.

It is key that tax reform reduce rates for Americans across the board, drastically simplifies the code for families and individuals, ends the Death Tax, unrigs the system to promote a healthy economy, and implements a territorial system of taxation so businesses large and small can compete.

2017 represents an important opportunity to provide financial security to hardworking taxpayers by signing tax reform into law. We applaud the work that each of you have already taken to ensure tax reform is enacted in 2017 and stand ready to continue working with you in the second half of the year.


Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Christine Harbin
Vice President of External Affairs, Americans for Prosperity

James L. Martin
Founder & Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Dan Greenberg
President, Advance Arkansas Institute

Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment

Daniel Schneider
Executive Director, American Conservative Union

Steve Pociask
President, American Consumer Institute

Tim Doyle
Vice President of Policy & General Counsel, American Council for Capital Formation

Sean Noble
President, American Encore

Lisa B. Nelson
CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council

Ashley N. Varner
Executive Director, ALEC Action

Mark J. Fitzgibbons
President of Corporate Affairs, American Target Advertising, Inc.

Kevin Waterman
Chair, Annapolis Center Right Coalition Meeting (Maryland)

Scot Mussi
President, Arizona Free Enterprise Club

Dan Weber
President, Association of Mature American Citizens

Lindsay Boyd
Policy Director, Beacon Center of Tennessee

Robert Alt
President and CEO, The Buckeye Institute (Ohio)

Garrett Ballengee
Executive Director, Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Public Policy

Bob Carlstrom
President, The Carlstrom Group

Steve Buckstein
Founder, Cascade Policy Institute (Oregon)

Kent Lassman
President, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Jeffrey Mazella
President, Center for Individual Freedom

Andrew F. Quinlan
President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Peter Nelson
Vice President, Center of the American Experiment (Minnesota)

Chip Faulkner
Associate Director, Citizens for Limited Taxation (Massachusetts)

Chuck Muth
President, Citizen Outreach (Nevada)

Ralph Benko
Conservative Columnist

Matthew Kandrach
President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Thomas Schatz
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Edward King
President, Defense Priorities Initiative

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director, Digital Liberty

Craig Richardson
President, E&E Action

Robert Roper
President, Ethan Allen Institute (Vermont)

Timothy Head
Executive Director, Faith & Freedom Coalition

Palmer Schoening
President, Family Business Coalition

Richard Watson
Chairman, Florida Center Right Coalition

Annette Meeks
CEO, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Nathan Nascimento
Vice President of Policy, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Adam Brandon
President, FreedomWorks

David Barnes
Policy Director, Generation Opportunity

Kelly McCutchen
President and CEO, Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Rodolfo E. Milani
Trustee, HACER (Hispanic American Center for Economic Research)

Joseph Bast
CEO, The Heartland Institute

Mario H. Lopez
President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations, Home School Legal Defense Association

Wayne Hoffman
President, Idaho Freedom Foundation

Jon Caldara
President, Independence Institute (Colorado)

Heather R. Higgins
President and CEO, Independent Women's Voice

Tom Giovanetti
President, Institute for Policy Innovation

Sal J. Nuzzo
Vice President of Policy, The James Madison Institute (Florida)

Kory Swanson
President & CEO, John Locke Foundation (North Carolina)

Dave Trabert
President, Kansas Policy Institute

Nancy Misasi
President, Lakeland Tea Party of Greater Wanaque Area (New Jersey)

John Tomicki
Executive Director, League of American Families

Seton Motley
President, Less Government

Colin A. Hanna
President, Let Freedom Ring

Daniel Garza
Executive Director, The LIBRE Initiative     

Brett Healy
President, The MacIver Institute (Wisconsin)

Michael LaFaive
Senior Director of Fiscal Policy, Mackinac Center for Public Policy (Michigan)

Carl Copeland
Executive Director, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance

Mary Adams
Chair, Maine Center-right Coalition Meeting

Pem & Ruth Schaeffer
Maine Conservative Activists

Tom Davis
Maine Conservative Activist

Victoria Bucklin
Maine Conservative Activist

Henry Kriegel
President, Montanans for Tax Reform

Tim Jones
Former Speaker, Missouri House of Representatives
State Chair, Missouri Center-Right Coalition

Harry C. Alford
President/CEO, National Black Chamber of Commerce

Brandon Arnold
Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

The Honorable William O'Brien
Former Speaker, New Hampshire House of Representatives
Co-chair, New Hampshire Center Right Coalition

Grant Malloy
Chair, Orlando Florida Center Right

Jonathan Small
President, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Jeff Kropf
Executive Director, Oregon Capitol Watch

Daniel J. Erspamer
CEO, Pelican Institute for Public Policy (Louisiana)

Lorenzo Montanari
Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance

Don Racheter
President, Public Interest Institute (Iowa)

Charlie Gerow
President, Quantum Communications (Pennsylvania)

Eli Lehrer
President, R Street Institute

Paul Gessing
President, Rio Grande Foundation (New Mexico)

Mike Stenhouse
CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Bill Whipple
President & Director, Secure America’s Future Economy (SAFE)

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Phillips
President, Tea Party Nation

Jenny Beth Martin
Co-Founder & CEO, Tea Party Patriots

Kevin D. Roberts, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Mike Thompson
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy (Virginia)

Carl Bearden
Executive Director, United for Missouri

Jonathan Downing
CEO, Wyoming Liberty Group

Photo Credit:

Hillary ‘fascinated’ by Carbon Tax

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Abigail Marone, John Kartch on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017, 3:20 PM PERMALINK

In her new book What Happened Hillary Clinton reveals she was “fascinated” by the idea of a carbon tax and a financial transactions tax. She wanted to take the money generated by both taxes, filter it through the Washington D.C. bureaucracy, and then send everyone a check as part of a Universal Basic Income scheme.

The whole process would be “a way of making every American feel more connected to our country and to one another – part of something bigger than ourselves.”

She writes:

If you view the nation’s financial system as a shared resource, then you can start raising real money from things like a financial transactions tax. Same with the air we breathe and carbon pricing. Once you capitalize the fund, you can provide every American with a modest basic income every year. Besides cash in people’s pockets, it would also be a way of making every American feel more connected to our country and to one another – part of something bigger than ourselves.

Clinton said she worked for weeks on the issue:

I was fascinated by this idea, as was my husband, and we spent weeks working with our policy team to see if it could be viable enough to include in my campaign.

Though she found the idea “exciting” and “tantalizing” it was only dropped because she “couldn’t make the numbers work.”

During the campaign, Clinton publicly proposed a series of tax increases, which amounted to a minimum $1 trillion over ten years. She campaigned on a 65% Death Tax, a personal income tax hike, a corporate income tax hike, and an “exit tax.” She also said she would not veto a payroll tax hike on all Americans, and cracked open the door to a carbon tax. Clinton even endorsed a steep new local soda tax in Philadelphia.

The official 2016 Democrat Party platform calls for a carbon tax. The official 2016 Republican Party platform rejects any and all carbon taxes.

In the book, Clinton suggested yet another tax: “taxing net worth.” She describes this tax as a “transformative” idea.

Americans for Tax Reform has documented Clinton’s entire tax hike career, at a dedicated website:

Photo Credit:

ATR Urges Senate Lawmakers to Pass Arbitration Rule CRA (S.J. Res. 47)

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by William Paul on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017, 9:20 AM PERMALINK

Senate lawmakers may soon vote on S.J. Res. 47, introduced by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), which would use the powers under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to rescind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) costly rule banning arbitration agreements in certain consumer contracts.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) strongly urges lawmakers in the upper chamber to support and vote for this important resolution. Failure to use the CRA to rescind the arbitration rule would be a boon for trial lawyers, while conversely having negative impacts on America’s consumers.

In July ATR joined 26 other free-market, limited-government, and liberty-oriented groups in calling on Congressional lawmakers to use the power of the CRA to repeal the CFPB’s rule relating to arbitration agreements.

As outlined in the coalition letter, the CFPB’s arbitration rule doesn’t benefit American consumers and would flood courtrooms with class-action lawsuits putting more money in the pockets of trial lawyers. The rule would lead to a projected 6,000 class action lawsuits every five years.

The arbitration rule would also cost American consumers billions, as all of this work, money, and litigation would be wasted on an average payout of $2.00 per person, according to the CFPB’s own study. This is significantly lower than a payout from the arbitration process. Additionally, a mere 20 percent of class-action lawsuits are approved and among those the average wait time for a settlement is around 3 years, compared to the arbitration process wait time of only 6.9 months.

The House of Representatives in July passed their version of the CRA resolution rescinding the arbitration rule. Now lawmakers in the Senate should do the same by passing Senator Crapo’s S.J. Res. 47, rescinding this harmful and costly rule put forth by the CFPB.  


Photo credit: David 

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform

19 Conservative Groups Support Rep. Roskam’s Free File Bill

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Friday, September 8th, 2017, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

In a letter to Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL), 19 conservative groups including ATR urged support for H.R. 3641, the Free File Permanency Act.

As the letter notes, the Free File tax preparation program guarantees that millions of taxpayers across the country have access to quality, free, and efficient online tax preparation and electronic filing services. It should be made permanent so that taxpayers continue to get this relief. 

The full letter can be found here and is below.

September 8, 2017

The Honorable Peter Roskam

United States House of Representatives

2246 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Roskam:

On behalf of the undersigned conservative, free market organizations we write in support of H.R. 3641, the “Free File Permanency Act of 2017.”

By making the Free File tax preparation program permanent, this legislation guarantees that millions of taxpayers across the country will continue to have access to quality, free, and efficient online tax preparation and electronic filing services.

Since its inception in 2008, Free File – which was created as a public-private partnership between software companies and the IRS – has served more than 50 million taxpayers and saved $1.3 billion in preparation costs.

Today, the tax code is more than 75,000 pages long and contains more than 2.4 million words. This complexity forces American families and businesses to spend more than 8.9 billion hours and $400 billion complying with the code every year. Against this complexity, it is difficult or impossible for most taxpayers to file a tax return without assistance.

For many individuals and families, Free File is the solution to navigating tax complexity. The program offers roughly 70 percent of taxpayer’s access to electronic filing software provided by leading private companies free of charge. In 2016, any taxpayer with less than $64,000 in adjusted gross income qualified for the program. 

The IRS estimates that electronically filing tax returns through the Free File program saves the federal government approximately $13 Million each year. In addition, the program ensures that taxpayers are protected with the right to privacy and access to strict cybersecurity measures to prevent fraud.

Free File is a proven success in addressing tax complexity, and it is a vastly superior alternative to government controlled tax preparation, such as the system proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in S. 912, the misnamed Tax Filing Simplification  Act of 2017.

Giving the federal government control over tax preparation would be a disaster. This would involve giving the IRS more taxpayer dollars and new responsibilities at a time when the agency already struggles to complete existing responsibilities and has misused finite resources on numerous occasions.

Government-run tax preparation would also represent a conflict of interest and could undermine the rights of taxpayers. Under a system of government-run tax preparation, the IRS would have an incentive to overcharge or withhold information from taxpayers, while few taxpayers would know whether they were paying the correct amount of taxes.

Given the success of the Free File program and the failure of the IRS to manage its own responsibilities, the best path forward should be making Free File permanent. Since its inception, Free File has been a proven success story in helping American families comply with the absurdly complex tax code. As such, we urge all members of Congress to support your important legislation.


Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment

Daniel Schnieder
Executive Director, American Conservative Union

Dan Weber
CEO, Association of Mature American Citizens

Norm Singleton
President, Campaign for Liberty

Bob Carlstrom
President, The Carlstrom Group

Jeffrey Mazzella
President, Center for Individual Freedom

Tom Schatz
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director, Digital Liberty

George Landrith
President, Frontiers of Freedom

Andrew Langer

President, Institute for Liberty

Tom Giovanetti
President, Institute for Policy Innovation

Seton Motley
President, Less Government

Colin Hanna
President, Let Freedom Ring

Charles Sauer
President, Market Institute

Pete Sepp
President, National Taxpayers Union

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Berin Szoka
President, Tech Freedom

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Photo Credit:

Stabilize Insurance Markets Through Across-The-Board Relief from Obamacare’s Health Insurance Tax

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Friday, September 1st, 2017, 2:00 PM PERMALINK

Eight governors from across the country led by Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado have released a number of proposals to stabilize healthcare insurance markets. Among the proposals, these governors suggest exempting counties with only one insurer from Obamacare’s health insurance tax.

While the governors are right to call for relieving Americans from the health insurance tax, they should not exempt a select few from this tax. Instead, Congress should ensure that everyone is protected from the higher costs that are being driven by the health insurance tax.

Roughly one-third of counties nationwide have just one insurer operating on Obamacare’s marketplaces, as the law’s costly mandates and regulations have increased costs. Next year, it is estimated that this number could increase to nearly half of the counties in the country.

The health insurance tax is set to go into effect at the end of the year, and will total $14.3 billion in higher taxes in 2018.  Clearly, this will contribute to the lack of coverage options. However, many Americans are shouldering the negative impacts of the health insurance tax, and relief should not be assigned on a case by case basis. 

Across the country, the health insurance tax hits 11 million households that purchase health care through the individual insurance market. This tax also hits 23 million households covered through their employers, and 1.7 million small businesses. Half of this tax is paid by those earning less than $50,000 a year. According to research by the American Action Forum, this tax is responsible for increasing premiums by an average of $5,000 per family over a decade.

According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the health insurance tax has cost an estimated 286,000 small business jobs and $33 billion in lost sales.

Congress’ failure thus far to repeal Obamacare taxes – including the tax on Americans facing high medical bills, taxes on health savings accounts, a tax on prescription medicines, and the tax for failing to buy health insurance—has already been devastating to American families, seniors, and businesses.

The last thing taxpayers need is another Obamacare tax to go into effect, and 36 conservative groups and activists recently told lawmakers that they must act so to prevent the health insurance tax from harming Americans. However, this relief should be offered to all, not a select few. 

Photo Credit: Michael Havens

Photo Credit:

More from Americans for Tax Reform