ERIC Supports the “American Health Care Act”

March 7, 2017

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The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

 Dear Speaker Ryan,

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is pleased to support the advancement of reconciliation measures collectively referred to as the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA), and urges action in the U.S. Senate to include full and permanent repeal of the dangerous 40 percent “Cadillac” excise tax on employer-sponsored health benefits.

ERIC is the only national association that advocates exclusively for large employers on health, retirement, and compensation public policies at the federal, state, and local levels. We advocate for policies that empower employers to offer quality benefits to working families, and help control the costs of health insurance and health care services. We believe AHCA includes a number of provisions that will enhance the ability of employers to offer benefits, reduce taxes that are passed on to health care purchasers and consumers, and prevent cost-shifting by stabilizing the individual markets. Some of the most critical components of the legislation include:

  • Repeal of the employer mandate, paving the way for Administrative action to eliminate the costly, pointless, and overly burdensome reporting requirements under ACA sections 6055 and 6056;
  • Repeal of numerous taxes that raise the costs of health insurance and health care, such as the taxes on pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medicines, and limitations on Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs);
  • Expansion of and improvements to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), especially increasing the annual HSA contribution limit to match the annual maximum out-of-pocket cost;
  • Targeted funding and new flexibility for insurance rules in order to stabilize the individual markets; and
  • Further delaying the Cadillac tax, with indications from staff that the intention is to fully repeal this toxic tax when the legislation is considered on the Senate floor.

ERIC appreciates House leadership’s decision to jettison a provision included in previous drafts to impose a tax on workers that receive health coverage from their employers. That proposal, to implement a cap on the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance, would have serious negative impact on the employer-sponsored health insurance which covers 178 million employees and families. We urge you to promptly complete full and permanent repeal of the Cadillac tax, and ensure that the bill going to the President does not subject employers and employees to taxation.

We applaud your efforts so far, and look forward to working with you to support the enactment of final legislation into law.

Sincerely,

 

 

James P. Gelfand
Senior Vice President, Health Policy