Indian-American Congressman leads bipartisan effort to delay health insurance tax

Congressman Ami Bera, D-California

Congressman Ami Bera, D-California, a physician by training, is leading a bipartisan effort to delay the application of a health insurance tax that sponsors of the bill believe would put families in the hole for nearly $500 a year.

Reps. Bera, Josh Gottheimer, D-NJ, Jackie Walorski, R-Indiana, and Kenny Marchant, R-TX,  introduced H.R. 1398, the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act, Feb. 27. This bill’s aim is to stop the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Tax from going into effect until after 2021 and in effect, save consumers hundreds of dollars, the lawmakers said in a press release.

According to America’s Health Insurance Plans, the HIT could increase premiums by over $470 per family in 2020 if not stopped, the sponsors said, adding that the tax would also hit seniors and those with disabilities particularly hard.

“Failing to pass this bill, which would ensure the Health Insurance Tax is delayed for another two years, would cause millions of American families to see higher health insurance premiums,” Dr. Bera is quoted saying in the press release. “In a time of rising premiums and health care costs, preventing the health insurance tax from adding to those costs is necessary as we work to stabilize the insurance markets and lower health care costs. We should pass this bill today,” Bera added.

The other sponsors echoed his views. “When it comes to taxes, the people of New Jersey have had more than enough. They want and deserve lower taxes — and they want lower health care costs,” said Rep. Gottheimer.

Rep. Walorski contended that raising taxes on health coverage would only make matters worse for families, small businesses, and Medicare Advantage enrollees.

“At a time when healthcare markets are beginning to stabilize, the last thing my constituents need is a tax driving their costs back up,” said Rep. Marchant. “The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) would do just that, and as much as I would like to see it repealed outright, this bill is a step in the right direction by delaying the tax from going into effect,” Marchant added.




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