House Panel Advances Bill To Repeal Obamacare Provisions

Date: September 30, 2015

Bill Would Repeal Costly Taxes, Scrap Expanded Definition Of Small Employers

The House of Representatives on Monday advanced the PACE Act, a measure first introduced in the House in March by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY). The measure would enable states to maintain the current definition of a small employer as one with 50 or fewer employees. In addition, the House Ways and Means Committee advanced a reconciliation bill that would repeal a number of Obamacare “individual and employer mandates” for receiving and providing insurance, as well as two major taxes used to pay for Obamacare: A 40% tax on premium-level health plans, called the “Cadillac Tax,” and a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, The Hill reported. The measure would also abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

What Happens Next

The PACE Act enjoyed broad support in the House. Now that it’s been referred to the Senate, its future is less certain, and it is unclear if that chamber will be able to pass the measure before the end of the year. Regarding the reconciliation bill, as The Hill reported, although the President “is sure to veto the package, Republicans are determined to show that their majority is fighting to scale back the law.” The Washington Times said Republicans want to prove they “can repeal Obamacare with a Republican president in 2017 even if they cannot win a filibuster-proof majority of 60 votes in the Senate.” The AP noted that unlike previous efforts to repeal Obamacare, this time House Republicans are seeking to pass the legislation using reconciliation. The special budget process allows the Senate to pass legislation with just 51 votes. President Obama “can still veto it, but the vote could provide a blueprint for dismantling the law if Republicans retake the White House in 2016.” For now, the original Obamacare provision remains in effect, meaning the small employer classification will change Jan. 1.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Obamacare is a growing burden for the small business community. News of progress on a measure to repeal some of the aspects of the measure that are the most costly for the business community is encouraging. However, while Obamacare continues, small businesses will keep suffering due to costly, inconsistent health insurance policies.

Additional Reading

Politico, the Washington Examiner, and the Daily Caller also covered the measure’s passage in the House.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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