NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 4118, the SIMPLE Fairness Act. This legislation would effectively delay the individual health insurance mandate for one year by rolling back implementation of the penalty for failure to obtain health coverage.
While the Administration has taken steps to mitigate the damaging effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) employer mandate on the business community through repeated delays, the same deference has not been shown toward individuals and families who are poised to be hit by PPACA’s requirement to purchase health insurance. In 2014, the penalty for failing to do so is $285 per family or 1 percent of household income, whichever is greater. By 2016, the penalty jumps to $2,085 per family or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greater. As the Supreme Court ruled in 2012, this penalty is regarded as a tax. For many families continuing to struggle due to the weak economy, the burdens from the individual mandate will become increasingly difficult to bear.
In addition, since last summer’s first employer mandate delay, purchasing PPACA approved-insurance plans has becoming increasingly challenging for the individuals and families who have tried to do so. Millions have lost the health insurance plans they had and liked. New health insurance products have proved to be too costly for many others, owing to high monthly rates and large deductibles. The federal health insurance exchange has been wracked by technical glitches, security issues, long wait times, payment snags, and confusing procedures. Given that the current upheaval in the insurance market and health care exchanges are the results of the President’s health care law, it is only fair that families be given a delay the way employers have. Postponing these penalties would provide much-needed, albeit temporary relief. Congress should also take this time to pursue policies that repeal PPACA in its entirety.
Roll call votes on H.R. 4118 will be included in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700