Coalition Asks Senators to Put HIT Relief in Health Care Bill – Sept. 21, 2017

More than 30 organizations representing small business owners, their employees and the self-employed are urging a group of senators to include relief from the health insurance tax in their Affordable Care Act repeal and replace bill. At a minimum, a one-year delay of the HIT would provide critical relief to the millions of hardworking Americans struggling to afford the cost of rising premiums, the Stop the Hit Coalition said in a letter to Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.). “We’ve heard from constituents throughout the country who’ve shared personally about the crushing impact of the HIT. By forcing millions of Americans to pay a sales tax on their coverage, the HIT drives up the cost of premiums on more than 29 million small business owners and their nearly 60 million employees, as well as middle-class families, Medicaid beneficiaries and those purchasing coverage in the individual market,” wrote the coalition, of which the American Farm Bureau is a member.

With premiums being finalized by the end of September, urgent action is needed to address health insurance cost and access problems, the groups said, noting that both Republicans and Democrats backed HIT relief in 2015, when nearly 400 Senate and House lawmakers from both parties came together to suspend the HIT for 2017.

Graham, Cassidy and Heller’s proposal repeals the structure and architecture of the ACA and replaces it with a block grant given annually to states to help individuals pay for health care.