On behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, I am writing in support of H.R. 436, the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012. This legislation would repeal tax increases from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and would allow consumers greater control over their health care dollars. H.R. 436 will be considered an NFIB Key Vote for the 112th Congress.
Rising health insurance costs and taxes continue to be top concerns for small businesses. PPACA failed to address cost issues and increased taxes on small businesses. Many of these taxes, such as new taxes on medical devices and fully-insured health coverage, will be passed through to small business owners and their employees in the form of higher health insurance premiums. Additionally, other revenue increases come from prohibiting the purchase of over-the-counter (OTC) medications with funds from tax-preferred flexible spending arrangements such as health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, and health reimbursement accounts.
H.R. 436 repeals two of the tax increases from PPACA. First, it would repeal the prohibition of the use of certain tax-preferred funds to purchase OTC medications incurred after 2012. This “medicine cabinet tax” began in 2011. Many small businesses utilize these consumer-driven health plans, combined with high-deductible health insurance, to empower employees to choose what works best for their personal needs and help control rising health insurance costs. Second, the legislation would repeal the excise tax on medical devices before it begins in 2013. Repealing these provisions is an excellent start to providing some relief from rising health insurance costs for small businesses.
May was a stagnant month for job-creation. NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends survey, mirrored the national numbers with net “0” jobs created, down 0.1 from April. May’s numbers were weaker than April’s and do not inspire confidence that strong economic growth is just around the corner. In order to instill greater confidence and certainty, the House of Representatives should continue this positive step by passing H.R. 1744, the American Job Protection Act, which would repeal the employer mandate from PPACA that discourages job creation and prevents economic growth.
NFIB strongly supports H.R. 436 and will consider it an NFIB Key Vote for the 112th Congress. We look forward to working with you to protect small business as the 112th Congress moves forward.
Senior Vice President