A Step in the Right Direction on Healthcare

Jul 13, 2018
It’s no secret Obamacare is ill-conceived and has been burdensome on the American people since President Obama signed the bill into law in March of 2010. The bill itself was severely flawed in its composition, its execution, and in its funding mechanisms, which have stifled economic growth, suffocated businesses, and driven insurance premium spikes across our country. 
On July 11th and 12th, the House Ways and Means Committee, of which I am a member, considered legislation I cosponsored to mitigate this burden by repealing the law’s employer mandate and “Cadillac tax.” The employer mandate forces companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance to those working at least 30 hours per week or pay a per-employee tax, while the Cadillac tax charges those same businesses a 40 percent penalty if the plans they choose to purchase are too generous. 
Yes, you read the last paragraph correctly. Under the same law, the federal government now forces businesses to provide health insurance while also penalizing them if the plans are deemed too generous. Despite President Obama’s claim the Cadillac Tax would only apply to “really fancy plans that end up driving up costs,” roughly 175 million people – over half of Americans – would be affected. 
In fact, Obamacare was intended to rely on penalties collected under the Cadillac Tax as part of its funding mechanism in an attempt to shift the burden onto American businesses, even if they were already providing health insurance plans to their employees. At the same time, the employer mandate created an incentive for companies to limit employees to part time status while artificially imposing a ceiling of 50 employees.
The Obama administration did such a poor job of implementing the employer mandate, businesses faced a complete lack of clarity on how to proceed. Many of them are just now being asked to prove they were in compliance with the mandate as far back as 2015. 
Ridding businesses of these onerous regulations will decrease compliance costs and inspire them to expand by making long term investments in our communities. Excessive regulations like those inflicted by Obamacare increase costs on employers, limit job growth, and impose especially heavy burdens on small businesses looking to expand.
With pro-growth policies like tax reform boosting job creation and expanding our economy, we are experiencing renewed prosperity not seen in nearly two decades. Repealing the burdensome aspects of Obamacare as we did with the individual mandate through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a step in the right direction, but more must be done to lessen its effects on the American people.