January 22, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the Small Business Health Relief Act, legislation that frees small businesses from the many mandates and provisions imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that many believe will lead to even higher premiums and greater financial burdens on American families.
“Despite promises that the President’s health care law would lower premiums, insurance premiums have already started to climb, weighing down American families and small businesses trying to get back on their feet amid a weak economy,” Portman said. “My bill will relieve families and businesses of this additional burden by repealing many of the provisions imposed by this big-government health care law that will likely continue to cause premiums to rise, harm employers, and stifle consumer-driven health care.”
Although the proponents of PPACA promised that premiums would decrease by $2,500 for the typical family, we are already beginning to see a hike in insurance premiums. In fact, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that premiums increased by 4 percent in 2012, with employees paying an average of over $4,000. This 4 percent growth exceeds the growth in wages of 1.7 percent, as well as inflation of 2.3 percent.
Portman’s Small Business Health Relief Act repeals several of these costly provisions that are hurting families and small businesses:
- Repeals fines on employers with over 50 full time employees who do not offer insurance coverage that meets PPACA-mandated requirements
- Repeals the annual fees imposed on insurance companies, which the Congressional Budget Office has estimated will likely be passed along to consumers who will pay for the fees in the form of higher premiums. The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that repealing this health insurance industry fee would reduce the premium prices of plans offered by 2.0 to 2.5 percent, and would decrease the average family premium in 2016 by $350 to $400.
- Repeals multiple restrictions on health savings accounts and flexible spending arrangements, including the $2500 limit on annual salary contributions to these accounts and restrictive rules regarding paying for medications from Health Savings Accounts.