House Republicans want to pass a bill delaying Obamacare’s 40% excise tax on high-cost employer plans—the “Cadillac tax”—by another year, to 2023. GOP hostility to this tax is a mistake. Capping the tax break for job-based insurance is essential for a market-based approach to cost control. The federal government heavily subsidizes every extra dollar spent on job-based insurance, which undermines the incentive for employers and workers to seek out lower-cost options. Some Republicans believe they can kill the Cadillac tax and replace it later with a better alternative. That’s wishful thinking. If Congress keeps delaying the tax and eventually kills it, there will be no appetite to impose a different version of the same policy.
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For Kalena Bruce, a fifth-generation cattle farmer in Stockton, Missouri, finding affordable health coverage under Obamacare hasn’t been easy. She’s a young mom and business owner paying $700 a month in premiums alone, not to mention deductibles and copays.
That’s why she’s become an advocate for allowing more small businesses like hers to bring down their health care costs by pooling together. It’s an idea that’s worked for Missouri businesses for more than 15 years and will now be available nationwide thanks to the Trump administration’s new rule expanding access to association health plans, or AHPs.
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The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved legislation that would chip away at ObamaCare, including a measure that would temporarily repeal the law’s employer mandate. The bill sponsored by GOP Reps. Devin Nunes (CA) and Mike Kelly (PA) would suspend penalties for the employer mandate for 2015 through 2019 and delay implementation of the tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans for another year, pushing it back to 2022.
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