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Freedom Fridays

January 26, 2018 - President Trump’s Executive Actions on Healthcare, Part II: Is More Relief for Businesses on the Horizon?

This Freedom Friday post is the second part of a periodic series examining President Trump’s recent executive actions on healthcare reform and the ongoing effort to rid Americans of Obamacare.

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What are the most recent developments? 

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor (DOL) overturned an Obama-era rule to allow small business owners to provide lower health insurance rates to their employees. By allowing business owners to reach across state lines and pool resources with other businesses, companies and employees can access a greater variety of health plans at a lower cost. I highlighted this issue in the first Freedom Friday post of this series, and I am pleased to see follow-up action from the Trump administration that will lead to lower healthcare costs for businesses across the country.

Despite this positive step, as long as Obamacare remains in effect, it will continue to burden all employers. For example, businesses with more than 50 full-time employees are required to either offer insurance coverage to its workers or pay a stiff fine. Businesses employing fewer than 50 individuals that offer even a self-insurance benefit are forced to file extensive reporting paperwork with the IRS.


Solutions for the future

You’ve heard this from me hundreds of times, but it always bears repeating: the best way to eliminate Obamacare penalties on businesses and individuals alike is to simply repeal the law in its entirety.  I’ve introduced legislation to do just that.

Short of this step, the Trump administration has hinted it may take further action to eliminate the employer mandate and other Obamacare regulations on businesses. To assist in these efforts, Congress passed legislation this year to eliminate Obamacare’s individual mandate in 2019. Getting rid of the employer mandates would knock yet another leg off the stool.

 

What are they saying?

“While the tax reform package Congress passed and the President signed into law in December effectively ended the burdensome individual mandate, small businesses are still subject to Obamacare’s employer mandate and have few options to provide affordable health care choices to their employees and families. DOL’s proposed rule would allow small employers and sole proprietors to join together and form Small Business Health Plans to provide their workers more affordable and flexible health care options.” - Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

“Smaller employers have fewer employees with which to balance their employees’ risk profiles. We believe that AHPs are an important building block toward improving access to affordable health coverage for our nation’s small businesses.” - NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French