The American Rental Association (ARA), in conjunction with several other business organizations, has been focusing on two provisions within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that could significantly impact small businesses. As a result of these efforts, progress is being made on both the HIT repeal and the employer mandate delay.
Members of the Stop the HIT coalition, in which the ARA is involved, held a press event on Wednesday, July 17 with Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) who are the Congressional sponsors of legislation to repeal the health insurance tax (HIT) included in the ACA.
The HIT is a tax on insurance companies starting in 2014 that will be based on their net premiums written in the fully-insured market where a large number of small businesses purchase their insurance. This tax will be passed through to the customer, costing small businesses an average of $500 more per employee covered. Sens. Hatch and Barrasso have introduced legislation (S.603) to repeal the tax and Reps. Boustany and Matheson have introduced companion legislation (H.R. 763) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
John McClelland, ARA’s vice president of government affairs, attended the event on behalf of ARA. “Repealing this onerous provision of the ACA would be a significant help for small businesses in the equipment rental industry. Without the HIT, employers will be better able to offer the affordable health care insurance required by the employer mandate starting Jan. 1, 2015.”
In addition, ARA has signed two coalition letters in support of H.R. 2667, the Authority for Mandate Delay Act, which would provide a legislative one-year delay of the employer mandate provision. The delay was announced earlier this month via blog posts. The letter from the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare (SBCAH), of which ARA is a member, refers to the legislation as an initial step and encourages Congress to move forward with additional reform or a complete repeal of the employer mandate.
As a result of these letters and other actions by supporters of this legislation, the House voted to pass H.R. 2667.