Alex Hendrie

ATR Urges NO Vote on Short-Term Limited Duration Health Insurance CRA


Posted by Alex Hendrie on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018, 10:12 AM PERMALINK

Senate Democrats are expected to soon force a vote on S.J.Res.63, a congressional resolution of disapproval of the Trump administration rule expanding access to “Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance.” ATR urges all Senators to vote “NO” on this resolution.

S.J.Res.63 would overturn the Trump administration’s rule expanding access to short-term, limited duration health insurance under the Congressional Review Act. This rule, which was finalized on August 1, allows families and individuals to purchase these health plans for 12 months with a total of 36 months of renewability.

Short-term plans are exempt from Obamacare’s costly mandates and regulations and so the new rule has the potential to provide an off ramp for families that have seen higher prices and reduced access under Obamacare.

Once in effect, this rule will reverse an Obama-era policy that limited short term plans to three months with no option to renew, a decision which deprived millions of Americans access to a more flexible and affordable healthcare option.

More importantly, the Trump administration’s new rule comes at a crucial time when millions of Americans are facing increasing premiums and diminishing options in the individual insurance market. 

Today, over 52 percent of American counties have one Obamacare provider, forcing individuals and families to choose between expensive healthcare plans or nothing.

Those that do have insurance are being priced out due rising premium costs of almost 200 percent for some, especially middle-class families that are often ineligible for subsidies. In 2017, enrollment in the individual market without subsidies dropped by 21 percent, while premiums rose 20 percent.

Limited duration plans are also expected to be 50 to 80 percent cheaper than current Obamacare plans, with some estimating that more than two million Americans who are currently uninsured may choose these plans due to their flexibility and affordability.

There are multiple cases in which short-term, limited duration insurance policies could be important to families. They can provide coverage for those who are in between jobs, transitioning between plans or in between coverage, can be used by middle-class families that do not have access to subsidized Obamacare plans, and can be used by students who are taking time off from school.

Expanding access to short-term, limited duration insurance is yet another example of President Trump delivering on his promise to provide Americans with more access to more affordable and flexible access to healthcare.

Senators should vote NO on S.J.Res.63 and ensure that Americans across the country have access to healthcare plans that best fit their needs.

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GOP Tax Cuts Abolished Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax

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Posted by Alex Hendrie, Gillian Richards on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018, 2:21 PM PERMALINK

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the Republican House and Senate and signed by President Donald Trump repealed the Obamacare individual mandate.

Prior to repeal, the mandate forced individuals to purchase government approved health insurance or pay a fine totaling almost $700 for an individual and $2,000 for a family. 

The individual mandate tax penalty was paid by 4,953,490 in 2016, according to recently released IRS data compiled by the office of Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

These 4,953,490 households paid a total of $3,628,017,000 in individual mandate tax penalties in 2016. 77 percent of those paying the mandate had annual income of less than $50,000 and 34 percent have annual income of less than $25,000.

Please visit the website of Sen. Daines to get a handy PDF of the state-by-state Obamacare IRS tax data.

Texas

  • 620,830 Texas residents paid the individual mandate tax penalty to the IRS, amounting to a total of $520,290,000.
  • 182,350 people who earn $25,000 a year or less had to pay the penalty, or 29.37% of all penalty payers.
  • 451,460 people paid who earn $50,000, or 72.71% of all penalty payers.
  • As a Congressman, Texas’ Democrat candidate for Senate Beto O’Rourke voted against repealing the individual mandate.

 

North Dakota

  • 12,830 people paid the penalty in North Dakota, totaling $8,970,000.
  • There were 4,300 penalty payers with incomes of $25,000 or less (33.51% of all penalty payers), and 9,830 payers with incomes of $50,000 or less (76.61%).
  • Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp voted against repealing the individual mandate.
  •  

Missouri

  • 84,810 people paid a total of $59,020,000 in individual mandate tax penalties.
  • 28,960 people who earn $25,000 a year or less had to pay penalties (34.14% of all penalty payers).
  • 67,150 people who earn $50,000 or less had to pay (79.17% of all penalty payers).
  • Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill voted against repealing the individual mandate.
  •  

Montana

  • There were 20,810 penalty payers in Montana, who paid a total of $15,444,000 to the IRS.
  • 7,170 people who earn $25,000 or less had to pay (34.45% of all penalty payers).
  • 15,900 people who earn $50,000 or less had to pay (76.40% of all penalty payers).
  • Democrat Senator Jon Tester voted against repealing the individual mandate.

 

Nevada

  • 54,850 Nevada residents paid a total of $39,699,000 in penalties.
  • 19,500 people whose incomes are $25,000 or less had to pay (35.55% of all penalty payers).
  • 42,500 people who earn $50,000 or less paid (77.48% of the total).
  • As a Congresswoman, Nevada’s Democrat candidate for Senate Jackey Rosen voted against repealing the individual mandate.

 

Indiana

  • 113,060 people paid the individual mandate tax penalty in Indiana, totaling $76,669,000.
  • 44,830 people who earn $25,000 or less paid (39.65% of all penalty payers).
  • 92,340 people who earn $50,000 or less paid (81.67% of all penalty payers).
  • Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly voted against repealing the individual mandate.

 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Ten Facts About Tax Reform 2.0


Posted by Alex Hendrie on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018, 3:10 PM PERMALINK

Tax Reform 2.0 will make the $2,000 child tax credit permanent giving tax relief to over 22 million families.

Tax Reform 2.0 will make the $12,000 standard deduction permanent giving tax relief to over 105 million families and individuals.

Tax Reform 2.0 Increases the ability of families to deduct high medical bills.

Tax Reform 2.0 makes the 20 percent small business deduction permanent, ensuring tax reduction for 28 million businesses organized as pass-through entities.

Tax Reform 2.0 allows families to withdraw $7,500 from a retirement account penalty free to pay for childbirth or adoption expenses.

Tax Reform 2.0 Creates new, Universal Savings Accounts where families can save $2,500 tax free to be used on any expense.

Tax Reform 2.0 expands 529 education savings accounts to allow families to pay for apprenticeship costs and to cover the cost of home schooling.

Tax Reform 2.0 eliminates the restriction on seniors aged 70 ½ from contributing to retirement accounts.

Tax Reform 2.0 makes it easier for small businesses to band together to create a 401(k) plan.

Tax Reform 2.0 promotes entrepreneurship by allowing start-ups to deduct up to $20,000 in start-up expenses.

 

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Conservative Coalition Supports Tax Reform 2.0 Legislation


Posted by Alex Hendrie on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018, 2:30 PM PERMALINK

Americans for Tax Reform today led a coalition of 58 conservative groups and activists in support of the Tax Reform 2.0 legislation set to be voted on by the House of Representatives later this week.

This proposal is split into three pieces of legislation: H.R. 6760, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act, H.R. 6757, the Family Savings Act, and H.R. 6756, the American Innovation Act.

Most importantly, Tax Reform 2.0 strengths the gains made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year by making individual and small business tax cuts permanent. This tax reduction could not be made permanent when TCJA passed because of a combination of liberal obstructionism, arcane Senate rules, and an unwillingness to reduce out-of-control federal spending.

The legislation also updates retirement, education, and family savings accounts and promotes innovation and entrepreneurship for small businesses. 

The full letter can be found here and is below. 

Dear Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady:                                                              

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write in support of House passage of Tax Reform 2.0.

This proposal is split into three pieces of legislation: H.R. 6760, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act, H.R. 6757, the Family Savings Act, and H.R. 6756, the American Innovation Act.

The House should pass all of these bills.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed last year reduced taxes for Americans at every income level, raised wages and other employee benefits, boosted economic growth, and made the U.S. a more competitive place to do business.

Unfortunately, not all of the tax reduction in TCJA could be made permanent because of liberal obstructionism, arcane Senate rules, and an unwillingness to reduce out-of-control federal spending. Due to these constraints, lawmakers were forced to sunset the individual tax provisions starting in 2026.

The Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act will address this by making individual and small business tax cuts permanent.

Because of TCJA, 90 percent of wage earners are seeing higher take-home pay. This year, a family of four with annual income of $73,000 will see a tax cut of $2,058—a 58 percent reduction in federal taxes. 

Americans are seeing a simpler, fairer tax code due to the doubling of the standard deduction, the reduction in the Alternative Minimum Tax, and the reduction in the death tax.

Small businesses also see tax relief through the creation of a 20 percent deduction for businesses organized as pass-through entities.

In addition to making these provisions permanent, Tax Reform 2.0 builds on the success of TCJA and further improves the tax code.

The Family Savings Act strengthens tax-advantaged savings accounts so that Americans have more money for retirement, education, and other expenses. The legislation updates retirement accounts so that businesses have more flexibility to set up and contribute to plans and workers have more flexibility to invest and save for retirement.

The bill also creates new, universal savings accounts which allow families to save and invest $2,500 of their own after-tax earnings. 529 education savings accounts are expanded so that families can use these funds on apprenticeship programs and to cover home schooling expenses.

The American Innovation Act encourages innovation and entrepreneurship. The legislation allows businesses to recover more start-up expenses and also allows start-ups that bring in new investors to retain access to important tax benefits like the Research & Development tax credit.

Since it was signed into law, TCJA has reduced taxes for businesses and families, increased take-home pay, and spurred American innovation and competitiveness.

Tax Reform 2.0 will build on this success by making individual and small business tax cuts permanent, expanding tax-advantaged savings accounts, and allowing businesses to recover more start-up costs.

We therefore urge prompt floor passage of the Tax Reform 2.0 package and encourage all members of Congress to support the legislation.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
President, 60 Plus Association

Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment

Matt Schlapp
Chairman, American Conservative Union

Steve Pociask
President, American Consumer Institute

Lisa B. Nelson
CEO, ALEC Action

Tom Giovanetti
President, Americans for a Strong Economy

Dan Weber
Founder & President, Association of Mature American Citizens

Norm Singleton
President, Campaign For Liberty

Ryan Ellis
President, Center for a Free Economy

Andrew F. Quinlan
President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Jeffrey Mazzella
President, Center for Individual Freedom

Olivia Grady
Senior Fellow, Center for Worker Freedom

Chuck Muth
President, Citizen Outreach (Nevada)

Matthew Kandrach
President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Tom Schatz 
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Iain Murray
Vice President for Strategy & Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director, Digital Liberty

Palmer Schoening
President, Family Business Coalition

Richard Watson
Chairman, Florida Center Right Coalition

Adam Brandon
President, FreedomWorks

George Landrith
President, Frontiers of Freedom

Victor Riches
President & CEO, Goldwater Institute (Arizona)

Ray Chadwick
Chairman, Granite State Taxpayers (New Hampshire)

Daniel Perrin
E
xecutive Director, HSA Coalition

Tim Chapman
Executive Director, Heritage Action for America

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

Mario H. Lopez
President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

Carrie Lukas
President, Independent Women’s Forum

Heather R. Higgins
CEO, Independent Women’s Voice

Andrew Langer
President, Institute for Liberty

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

John Dodd
President, Jesse Helms Center (North Carolina)

Dave Trabert
President, Kansas Policy Institute

Seton Motley
President, Less Government

Mary Adams
Chair, Maine Center-right Coalition Meeting

Jameson Taylor, Ph.D.
Vice President for Policy, Mississippi Center for Public Policy

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

Pete Sepp
President, National Taxpayers Union

The Honorable William O’Brien
Former Speaker, New Hampshire House of Representatives
Co-Chair, New Hampshire Center-Right Meeting

The Honorable Stephen Stepanek
Former Chairman, Hew Hampshire House Ways & Means Committee
Co-Chair, New Hampshire Center-right Meeting

Jack Boyle
Executive Director, Ohioans for Tax Reform  

LaVerne Jones Gore
Chairman, The Ohio Diversity Coalition

Jeff Kropf
Executive Director, Oregon Capitol Watch

Josh Crawford
Co-Executive Director, Pegasus Institute (Kentucky)

Jordan Harris
Co-Executive Director, Pegasus Institute (Kentucky)

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

Lorenzo Montanari
Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance

Derrick Hollie
President, Reaching America

Mike Stenhouse
CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Paul Gessing
President, Rio Grande Foundation (New Mexico)

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Niraj J. Antani
State Representative, Ohio House of Representatives
Chair, Ohio Center-right Meeting

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Philips
President, Tea Party Nation

Tom Zawistowski
President, We the People Convention

Amy Kremer
Chairman, Women for Trump

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ATR Leads Coalition Letter Opposed to Duty Drawback Excise Tax Restrictions


Posted by Alex Hendrie on Monday, September 17th, 2018, 11:14 AM PERMALINK

ATR today released a coalition letter in opposition to the administration’s proposed rule restricting the use of duty drawback for federal excise taxes including alcohol, tobacco, and fuel taxes.

Duty drawback allows the refund of duties, taxes, and fees paid on imported product when a similar product is exported or destroyed. Today, drawback is used across the world and is available to any industry. The program has a long history stretching back more than 200 years, and has proven successful in incentivizing U.S. manufacturing and reducing the trade deficit.

The rule proposed by the Treasury Department and Customs and Border Protection lacks clear policy justification, undermines American competitiveness by restricting exports, goes against the legislative intent of Congress, and sets a precedent of using tax and trade export programs to discriminate against industries.

The full letter can be found here and is below in full.

Dear Secretary Mnuchin, Director Mulvaney, Administrator McAleenan, and Administrator Rao:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write in opposition to the proposed rule restricting the use of duty drawback for federal excise taxes including alcohol, tobacco, and fuel taxes. This rule is being proposed as part of regulatory implementation of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA) through the Modernized Drawback Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (USCBP–2018–0029).

We have concerns that the drawback NPRM lacks clear policy justification, undermines American competitiveness by restricting exports, goes against the legislative intent of Congress, and sets a precedent of using tax and trade export programs to discriminate against industries.

The Trump administration has championed pro-growth policies focused on tax reform and regulatory reform. These policies have promoted American competitiveness and investment in order to create jobs and grow the economy. Unfortunately, the proposed duty drawback rule undermines these gains.

Duty drawback allows the refund of duties, taxes, and fees paid on imported product when a similar product is exported or destroyed. Today, drawback is used across the world and is available to any industry. The program has a long history stretching back more than 200 years, and has proven successful in incentivizing U.S. manufacturing and reducing the trade deficit.

Congress passed TFTEA with the goal of updating and modernizing the duty drawback proposal in order to promote U.S. exports and reduce compliance burdens for business and the government. For example, Congress made the program easier to administer and comply with by tying drawback eligibility from the vague and subjective standard of “commercially interchangeable goods” to goods that are classified under the same eight-digit Harmonized Trade System (HTS) number.

In fact, lawmakers actively chose to retain drawback for excise taxes, a position which has a long record of support among Democrat and Republican members of Congress. Despite this clear Congressional intent, the NPRM restricts duty drawback for excise taxes.

We strongly disagree with the justifications for restricting duty drawback as outlined in the NPRM. For instance, the NPRM argues that restrictions on duty drawback are needed to prevent revenue loss even though there is no evidence that Congress passed TFTEA with this goal in mind.

While the NPRM estimates of lost revenue are questionable, they are a minor share of total federal revenues collected. For example, the rule projects potential revenue losses of $15 to $69 million every year over the next decade for wine and $312 million to $937 million for distilled spirits. By comparison, CBO projects total federal revenue will total $44.162 trillion in the next decade. Regardless, we believe that this foregone duty drawback excise tax revenue never truly belonged to the federal government as the product was never sold in the U.S.

The NPRM also outlines a number of hypotheticals that manufacturers could use to lower their taxes including manufacturing cheaper products for the sole purpose of destroying them or re-routing of imports to manipulate drawback. However, there is no evidence that these scenarios are based on real-life examples.

Alarmingly, the NPRM also sets the precedent that federal agencies can discriminate against industries by choosing who should be eligible to for tax and trade programs. This is wrong – tax and trade policy should be economically neutral so that it promotes efficient allocation of resources by affording the same provisions – in this case utilization of duty drawback – to all businesses.

We urge you to reverse the proposed rule limiting excise tax duty drawback. This limitation harms American competitiveness and restricts exports, stymies the creation of jobs and economic growth, ignores Congressional intent, and sets a precedent of government agencies using tax and trade programs to discriminate against industries.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Saulius "Saul" Anuzis
President, 60 Plus Association

Pete Sepp
President, National Taxpayers Union

Kevin R. Kosar, Ph.D.
Vice-President of Policy, R Street Institute

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

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Tax Reform 2.0 Will Build on the Success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


Posted by Alex Hendrie on Thursday, September 13th, 2018, 10:44 AM PERMALINK

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady yesterday announced the release of tax reform 2.0. The package is split into three pieces of legislation: H.R. 6760, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act, H.R. 6757, the Family Savings Act, and H.R. 6756, the American Innovation Act.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed late last year, reduced taxes for Americans at every income level, raised wages and other employee benefits, grew the economy, and made America a more competitive place to do business.

Tax reform 2.0 will build on this success by making individual and small business tax cuts permanent, expanding tax-advantaged savings accounts, and allowing businesses to recover more startup costs.

Individual Tax Cuts Permanent

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act contained numerous, important provisions for small businesses and middle class families.

Because of TCJA, 90 percent of wage earners will see increased take-home pay. A typical married family of four will save $2,917 in 2018 and could save $44,697 over a decade, according to the Heritage Foundation.

In addition, tax reform dramatically simplified the tax code in several ways. The standard deduction was doubled so that 93 percent of taxpayers can file on a single piece of paper. Personal exemptions and the child tax credit were consolidated, simplifying tax compliance for more than 22 million families. The Alternative Minimum Tax was reduced so that 96 percent of the 4.5 million Americans hit by the AMT no longer have to pay this additional tax.

Small businesses also saw tax relief in the form of a 20 percent deduction for the 30 million pass-through entities (LLCs, S-corporations, sole properties, partnerships) and relief for family owned businesses by doubling the death tax exemption from $5.5 million to $11 million.

Unfortunately, arcane procedural hurdles and unanimous opposition from Democrats in the House and Senate prevented lawmakers from making these provisions permanent. If Congress does nothing, these important tax cuts will sunset in 2026. Tax reform 2.0 will make all of these individual tax cuts permanent.

Expanding Tax-advantaged Savings Accounts

Tax reform 2.0 will strengthen family savings through the reform of tax-advantaged savings accounts. The legislation will update retirement accounts so that businesses have more flexibility to set up and contribute to plans, and workers have more flexibility to invest and save for retirement.

In addition to expanding existing savings accounts, tax reform 2.0 creates a new savings account – the Universal Savings Account (USA).

A USA allows a taxpayer to contribute after-tax earnings of $2,500 each year that they are free to invest as they see fit. These funds can be withdrawn at any time, and for any reason. USAs exist in Canada and the UK and have succeeded in promoting family saving and investment.

The tax bill also expands 529 savings accounts so that they can be used for apprenticeship programs or cover home schooling expenses. 529 accounts are a key way for middle class families to invest in their children’s futures and are currently used by 13 million families.

While national unemployment remains at a 17-year low, too many young people are not in the job market. The expansion of 529s will help address this problem by mitigating the cost of education opportunities.

Promoting Entrepreneurship

Tax reform 2.0 builds on the pro-growth aspects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. 2.0 creates a deduction for start-up expenses of up to $20,000 and allows start-ups that bring in new investors to retain access to important tax benefits like the Research & Development tax credit.

While the TCJA promoted economic growth and investment through competitive business tax rates and the creation of immediate, 100 percent expensing, more work needs to be done to promote entrepreneurship. The number of start-up businesses has been in decline in the past decade. Reversing this trend will promote innovation and upward mobility and increase wealth.

 

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ATR Releases Letter on Foreign Tax Credit Carryforward Transition Rule


Posted by Alex Hendrie on Tuesday, August 28th, 2018, 3:00 PM PERMALINK

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter, ATR President Grover Norquist urged the administration to craft a foreign tax credit transition rule that allows a simple and efficient transition to the new tax code and promotes economic growth and equity.  

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) dramatically improved and updated the U.S. tax code. For instance, TCJA reduced the tax rate on businesses to a globally competitive rate and modernized the international system of taxation.

The law also significantly modified the treatment of foreign tax credits, which exist to mitigate double taxation and promote American competitiveness.

Under the new code, “general income” category FTCs are split into three categories – general income, foreign branch income and GILTI (Global Intangible Low Taxed Income). However, TCJA is silent on the treatment of pre-2018 general limitation FTC carryforwards, so this issue must be addressed through a transition rule released by Treasury.

As the letter notes, the appropriate transition rule would default existing FTC general limitation carryforwards into the post-TCJA general limitation basket and allow elective tracing of FTCs into new income baskets to the extent that reallocation is necessary and justified:  

“Treasury and the IRS should adopt a rule that defaults pre-2018 FTC general income carryforwards so that they are applied against the post-TCJA general category basket. The rule should also allow “elective tracing” so that businesses can reallocate FTCs into the foreign branch income basket if they can prove reallocation is justified. 

"This approach would be far simpler, less arbitrary, and matches the direction set following passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and other laws.”

The alternative approach – a mandatory reallocation rule that forces general income FTC carryforwards into the new foreign branch income and GILTI categories should be rejected as bad policy, as noted by the letter:

“This approach will create significant compliance costs for businesses and the government, will pick winners and losers based on past decisions made, and runs counter to past transition rules for reallocating FTCs.

The full letter can be found here.

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KEY VOTE: ATR Urges YES Vote on legislation to Expands HSAs, Offer Relief From Obamacare Taxes


Posted by Alex Hendrie on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018, 9:00 AM PERMALINK

Members of Congress urges a YES vote on H.R. 6311, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act, and H.R 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act.

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on several pieces of legislation that expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and offer relief from Obamacare taxes.

All members of Congress should support both pieces of legislation.

HSAs are used in conjunction with low premium, high deductible health insurance plans and provide a vehicle for individuals to spend and control their own money on their own health needs. These bills will further build on the success of HSAs by lowering taxes, increasing patient choice, and reducing the cost of healthcare for all Americans.

H.R. 6311 - “Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018”

This legislation contains numerous proposals that expand HSAs. Most notably, the legislation doubles the contribution limit of HSAs. Under the reform, the limit will increase from $3,450 to $6,650 for an individual and $6,900 to $13,300 for a family.

Doubling the contribution limit will allow individuals and families more money to spend on qualified medical expenses tax free.

H.R. 6311 also expands HSAs in several important ways. First, the bill will allow working seniors enrolled in Medicare part A to continue to contribute to their HSA. Eligibility for an HSA will also be expanded to those who are enrolled in bronze and catastrophic Obamacare health plans.

Finally, the legislation pauses the Obamacare health insurance tax for 2020 and 2021. This destructive tax is imposed on health insurance premiums and impacts 11 million households that purchase through the individual insurance market, 23 million households covered through their employer, and 1.7 million small businesses.

The health insurance tax is estimated to increase premiums by as much as 3 percent and could increase premiums by an average of $5,000 over a ten year period, according to the American Action Forum.

H.R. 6199 – “Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018”

The Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act contains a number of bipartisan proposals designed to expand the ability of HSAs to be used on medical expenses.

Most notably, the legislation will end the Obamacare restriction on purchasing over-the-counter-medications. Under current law, individuals may not purchase these medications without a prescription, a needless requirement that restricts access to medicines.

H.R. 6199 also expands HSAs so they can be used on certain sports and fitness expenses of up to $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a family. The bill also offers employers flexibility to offer free or discounted medical services at on-site or retail medical clinics without disqualifying an enrollee from an HSA and allows HSAs to be used for direct primary care up to a limit of $150 per month for an individual and $300 per month for a family.


Conservatives Urge House Action on Making Individual Tax Cuts Permanent


Posted by Alex Hendrie on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018, 4:15 PM PERMALINK

Today, 47 Conservative organizations and activists signed a coalition letter urging the House to make the individual tax provisions from The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent. When the TCJA was originally passed, Senate rules and liberal obstructionism prevented many important individual provisions from being made permanent, forcing Republicans to sunset these provisions starting in 2026. 
 
Since its passage, the TCJA has increased take home pay, grown the economy and simplified the tax code. The House should build on this success by making the individual tax provisions permanent.  
 
The full text of the letter and signers can be found here and below:
 
Dear Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady:
 
On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we urge the House of Representatives to take action to make all of the individual tax provisions from H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) permanent.
 
The TCJA has turbocharged the economy, leading to the creation of new jobs and increased take-home pay for 90 percent of wage earners.
 
However, many important provisions in this bill could not be made permanent because of liberal obstructionism and arcane Senate rules. Due to these constraints, Republican lawmakers were forced to sunset the individual tax provisions starting in 2026.
 
We urge you and your colleagues in the House to work with President Trump to make these provisions permanent so that the many benefits of the TCJA last.
 
Because of the TCJA, this year a family of four with annual income of $73,000 will see a tax cut of more than $2,058, a 58 percent reduction in federal taxes. Similarly, a single parent with one child with annual income of $41,000 will see a tax cut of $1,304 -- a 73 percent reduction in federal taxes. 
 
The TCJA also dramatically simplified the tax code for families and individuals. For instance, the standard deduction was doubled so that an estimated 93 percent of taxpayers can now file on a single page.
 
Tax reform also raised the threshold at which the alternative minimum tax hits taxpayers, offering relief for 4.3 million Americans who will no longer be forced to calculate their taxes twice and pay the AMT.
 
The threshold at which the death tax hits was doubled providing welcome relief for family businesses and the House should move quickly to provide permanence in this area. House leadership should consider the political and economic benefits of making President Trump's position of full repeal permanent law. Permanent death tax repeal has unanimous support among House Republicans and was passed in the House's first version of TCJA. Seven House Democrats including current lead sponsor Sanford Bishop (D-GA) joined Republicans to help pass Congressman Brady's Death Tax Repeal Act in April of 2015. 
 
Tax reform further offered relief and simplicity to more than 22 million families who take the Child Tax Credit by doubling this provision and consolidating other family provisions.
 
The individual tax title of the TCJA even implemented tax reduction for 28 million small businesses through the creation of a 20 percent deduction on pass-through income, expanded 179 expensing, and other changes to encourage more investment in small firms and new business creation generally.
 
The TCJA has also offered relief from Obamacare by repealing the individual mandate tax penalty. More than 6.6 million individuals and families paid the individual mandate tax penalties in 2015. This tax penalty is also one of the most regressive taxes in the code – nearly 80 percent of taxpayers impacted by the mandate made less than $50,000 in annual income.
 
Since it was signed into law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has increased take-home pay, simplified the tax code, and grown the economy. The House of Representatives should build on the success of this law by taking action to make individual tax provisions from H.R. 1 permanent.
 
Sincerely,
 
Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform
 
James L. Martin
Founder and Chairman, 60 Plus Association
 
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
President, 60 Plus Association
 
Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment
 
Steve Pociask
President, American Consumer Institute
 
Dan Weber
President, Association of Mature American Citizens
 
Lisa B. Nelson
CEO, ALEC Action

Norm Singleton 
President, Campaign for Liberty
 
Andrew F. Quinlan
President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
 
Jeffrey L. Mazzella 
President, Center for Individual Freedom 
 
Mary Adams
Chair, Maine Center-Right Coalition Meeting
 
Olivia Grady
Senior Fellow, Center for Worker Freedom
 
Chip Faulkner
Executive Director, Citizens for Limited Taxation (MA)
 
Chuck Muth
President, Citizen Outreach
 
David McIntosh
President, Club for Growth 
 
Matthew Kandrach
President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy
 
Tom Schatz 
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste  
 
Penny Morrell
State Director, CWA of Maine
 
Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director, Digital Liberty
 
Palmer Schoening
Chairman, Family Business Coalition
 
Patrick D. Purtill
Director of Legislative Affairs, Faith & Freedom Coalition
 
Richard Watson
Co-Chair, Florida Center Right Coalition
 
Adam Brandon
President, FreedomWorks
 
Daniel Perrin
Executive Director, HSA Coalition 
 
Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D. 
President & CEO, Heartland Institute 
 
Mario H. Lopez
President, Hispanic Leadership Fund 
 
Carrie Lukas
President, Independent Women’s Forum
 
Heather R. Higgins
CEO, Independent Women’s Voice 
 
Tom Giovanetti
President, Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI)
 
Dave Trabert
President, Kansas Policy Institute
 
Lance Hines
Little Rock City Director Ward 5, Priority 1
 
Paula G. Sutton 
State Representative, Maine House of Representatives
 
Jameson Taylor, Ph.D. 
Vice President for Policy, Mississippi Center for Public Policy
 
Tim Jones
Former Speaker, Missouri House of Representatives
Leader, Missouri Center-Right Coalition
 
Pete Sepp
President, National Taxpayers Union 
 
Stephen Stepanek
Co-Chair, New Hampshire Center-Right Coalition 
 
William O'Brien 
Co-Chair, New Hampshire Center Right Coalition
 
Niraj J. Antani
Ohio State Representative
 
Jeff Kropf
Executive Director, Oregon Capitol Watch
 
Grant Maloy
Chair, Orlando Center-Right Coalition 
 
Lorenzo Montanari
Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance
 
June Matheny 
Secretary, Pulaski County Republican Women
 
Mike Stenhouse
CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity 
 
Karen Kerrigan
President, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
 
David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
 
Judson Phillips
President, Tea Party Nation
 
Jenny Beth Martin
Chairman, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund
 
Edwin Tripp
Senior Political Reporter, The Boston Broadside 
 
Mike Thompson 
President, Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

More from Americans for Tax Reform


KEY VOTE: ATR Urges YES Vote on Legislation to Repeal the Obamacare Medical Device Tax


Posted by Alex Hendrie on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018, 11:05 AM PERMALINK

H.R. 184 repeals Obamacare’s 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices.

ATR Urges a Yes VOTE

Today, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 184, the “Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2018,” introduced by Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN). This legislation repeals the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers that is currently set to go into effect in 2020.  

Obamacare’s taxes have driven costs up, reduced choice, and needlessly punished American families with higher taxes. Over the long term, all Obamacare taxes should be repealed. However, this legislation represents a step in the right direction toward conservative healthcare reform.

First imposed in 2013, the tax is paused for 2018 and 2019, but will go into effect in 2020 absent congressional action.

This excise tax is projected to increase taxes by $30 billion over a decade, so supporting full repeal of the medical device tax represents significant tax reduction that will also help lower health care costs.  Failing to act and allowing the medical device tax to go into effect in 2020 will lead to higher healthcare costs in the future.

Repeal of the medical device tax will also relive businesses of a major financial burden, as the 6,500 medical device manufacturers contribute $150 billion to the U.S. economy. This legislation will also offer strong relief to small businesses, as over 80 percent of medical device manufacturers are small businesses.  

ATR Urges a Yes Vote on the Protect Medical Innovation Act.


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