NRF: retailers remain committed to fixing Obamacare despite the failure of a “skinny” repeal bill in the Senate

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jul-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation said retailers remain committed to fixing Obamacare despite the failure of a “skinny” repeal bill in the Senate early today (July 28, 2017).

“It was very disappointing to come so close on even a limited bill but we will use our disappointment to fuel our push on incremental improvements that will lead to a better health care law,” NRF Vice President for Health Care Policy Neil Trautwein said. “While repeal remains the ultimate goal, there are many ways to reduce the burdens of this flawed law for the benefit of employers and workers alike. This fight is far from over.”

Trautwein said the Affordable Care Act continues to adversely influence staffing patterns, discourage full-time employment and drive up consumer prices.

NRF opposed enactment of the ACA in 2010 and has worked since then to reduce cost burdens and ease compliance requirements. Among other changes, NRF has sought to restore the definition of “full-time” workers who large company must provide with health insurance to 40 hours a week rather than 30, to fix reporting requirements and roll back ACA taxes.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:
J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

House Action To Repeal Obamacare Welcomed By Retailers

WASHINGTON, 2017-May-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (May 4, 2017) applauded the House for passing the American Health Care Act, legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Nothing in health care is ever easy or simple, but the House has shown its commitment to closing the book on Obamacare,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said.  “The American Health Care Act is not perfect, but if we are going to get to a health care system that works without mandates and stifling regulation, the process has to start somewhere. This bill is an important milestone on that journey.”

On Wednesday, NRF sent a letter to House leadership urging lawmakers to take advantage of a “real opportunity” to repeal the ACA rather than continue to debate details of the bill and risk failing to move forward.

Like its predecessor, the revised version of the American Health Care Act passed by the House today would use budget reconciliation procedures to repeal key parts of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. That means the legislation could be passed by the Senate with only 51 votes rather than the 60 normally required to overcome an expected filibuster, but also limits the repeal to provisions of the ACA that have a revenue impact. NRF nonetheless believes that the bill would achieve substantial change.

An earlier version of the bill was scheduled for a vote in March but action was delayed because conservative House members wanted a more complete repeal of the ACA.

Among other actions supported by NRF, the legislation would effectively repeal the ACA’s employer mandate that businesses provide health insurance to full-time workers. While budget reconciliation does not allow the mandate to be repealed outright, the bill would reduce the penalties for non-compliance to zero.

The legislation would also delay the so-called Cadillac Tax on high-value health plans until 2026, and would repeal its health insurance tax, medical device tax and pharmaceutical tax permanently. It would also increase flexibility for health savings accounts and would take a substantial first step toward Medicaid reform.

NRF opposed passage of Obamacare and has sought its repeal, while working with Congress to mitigate the impact of its most onerous provisions. Rather than lowering costs, the controversial law emphasizes mandates that have driven up health insurance expenses for both employers and employees.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:
Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

The National Retail Federation supports legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare

Bills Do Not Include Tax on Employer-Provided Health Benefits

WASHINGTON, 2017-Mar-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (March 7, 2017) said it supports legislation unveiled by House Republicans to repeal and replace former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

“Retailers want reforms that push us toward a more competition-driven private health care market, and the ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bills take us in that direction,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said.

“We believe this reform can be achieved without disturbing the tax treatment of employer-provided benefits, which are the foundation of coverage for more than 175 million Americans,” French said. “Employees are highly sensitive to any change in benefits and younger, healthier workers could choose to drop their coverage altogether rather than pay more taxes. We are pleased that House leadership heard our concerns and that their bills do not disturb this structure. We will work with Congress to repeal all threats to employer-based coverage, including the so-called Cadillac tax on health benefits.”

Retailers oppose proposals to cap the current exclusion from taxable income of employer-provided health benefits, and NRF has been working to educate lawmakers on the consequences of taxing health benefits. While House Republican leadership proposed capping the exclusion last June, the provision was not included in the legislation released on Monday. NRF nonetheless remains wary that the concept will emerge in other legislation later this year.

NRF supports efforts to repeal ObamaCare’s employer mandate and to provide the individual and small group markets with interim stability.

“Health benefits are highly sought after, even for small start-up businesses, and greater stability will help create a better functioning market,” French said.

Retailers are also pleased with the reform bills’ focus on market-driven changes to benefit offerings. Greater variation in what is offered and freeing up where it can be purchased would help lower costs through greater competition. Enhancements to health savings accounts, greater state flexibility in rating factors and the availability of catastrophic coverage are all important reforms NRF supports.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:

Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF