September 19, 2017 — The U.S. Senate may soon consider healthcare reform legislation that repeals some, but not all Obamacare taxes. While passing this legislation, known as Graham-Cassidy, would be an improvement over the status quo of Obamacare, it is also important that the taxes that the bill does not touch are repealed.
Immediately, Congress needs to act to prevent the Obamacare health insurance tax from going into effect in 2018. At worst, this tax should be delayed for one year, while at best it should be repealed in its entirety.
Lawmakers must also ensure that other healthcare taxes, such as the chronic care tax on Americans with high medical bills, the 3.8 net investment income tax, the tax on innovative medicines, and the tanning tax, are repealed.
While all Obamacare taxes should be repealed, lawmakers must act soon to ensure that they do not allow a tax hike to go into effect under their watch. If the health insurance tax is allowed to become law in 2018, it will result in higher premiums and higher costs for middle class families, seniors, and small businesses.
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.
Obamacare’s taxes have already driven costs up, reduced choice, and needlessly punished American families. While the effort to pass the Graham-Cassidy healthcare reform legislation is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, it is also important that all of Obamacare’s taxes are addressed. In the short term, this means that the health insurance tax must be delayed. Over the long term, it is imperative that Congress address all one trillion dollars of Obamacare’s higher taxes.