As health care costs continue to climb, the last thing Texans need is a $145 billion health care tax that translates into higher premiums for themselves and their families.
Austin Business Journal
The Texas Association of Health Plans is one of the biggest fans of a resolution… more
The Texas Association of Health Plans is one of the biggest fans of a resolution presented to a House committee Thursday that supports federal actions to repeal a health insurance fee included in the Affordable Care Act.
Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, is carrying House Concurrent Resolution 89, which is up in in the House Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility. A total of 218 members in the U.S. House of Representatives support the repeal of the tax. A bill, dubbed the Jobs and Premium Protection Act, is pending in the Senate.
The total impact of the tax on the health insurance industry is projected to be $145 billion, which the Texas Association of Health Plans, or TAHP, says will result in higher premiums.
“As health care costs continue to climb, the last thing Texans need is a $145 billion health care tax that translates into higher premiums for themselves and their families. The effort to win full repeal of this onerous tax is gaining steam in Congress as more and more leaders on both sides of the aisle realize its harmful impact on families across the country, on small businesses, job creation and our economy,” said TAHP CEO Jamie Dudensing, in a statement. “TAHP supports Rep. Phelan’s HCR 89, which sends a united message from the Texas Legislature to the U.S. Congress to swiftly approve full repeal of the HIT.”
The Center for Public Policy Priorities, which supports the Affordable Care Act, counters the tax was agreed to by all the players in the marketplace when the legislation was drafted. That was based on the recognition that the requirement to carry insurance would be a windfall for most carriers, said Anne Dunkelberg, assistant director at the center.
A survey from the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Houston’s Rice University estimates that 31 percent of those not covered by insurance found a plan since the health insurance exchange opened, which was similar to other states that, like Texas, declined to expand Medicaid. The overall drop in the percentage uninsured moved from 24.6 percent to 16.9 percent, or a drop of 7.7 percentage points over roughly two years.
According to an analysis by actuarial firm Oliver Wyman, the health insurance tax will impose a $7 billion fee on Texans over the next 10 years. The firm projected job losses of 14,500 and $2.5 billion in small business losses by 2023 as a result.