|[March 20, 2017]
Retailers Ask House to 'Close the Book' on Obamacare by Passing Repeal-and-Replace Legislation
The National Retail Federation today urged the House to approve
Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation expected to come up for a vote
this week, and said the issue would be counted as a key vote in its
annual voting scorecard.
"It is time now to finally close the book on the Affordable Care Act and
start a new chapter in health care," NRF Senior Vice President for
Government Relations David French said in a
letter to House members. "The best course of action is to repeal the
ACA and begin a truly bipartisan discussion and debate on the future of
our health care system."
The House plans to vote this week on the American Health Care Act, which
uses budget reconciliation procedures to repeal key parts of the 2010
Affordable Care Act. That means the legislation can get through the
Senate with only 51 votes rather than the 60 that would normally be
required to overcome an expected filibuster, but limits the repeal to
provisions of the ACA that have a revenue impact.
Lawmakers who want to do more have been unable to show that they have
the 60 votes that would be needed, but Frenchsaid the pending bill can
achieve substantial change and "is the real repeal vote."
"We have little patience for those who criticize this legislation for
not going further to repeal the ACA," French said. "The budget
reconciliation process offers a pathway through the Senate, past an
inevitable filibuster. The AHCA is reasonable legislation that will be
signed into law."
Among other provisions, 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mandate to be repealed outright, the bill would reduce the penalties for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 2025, 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 entitlement reform.
NRF opposed passage of the ACA and has
sought its repeal ever since while working with Congress to mitigate
the impact of its most onerous provisions. Rather than lowering costs,
the controversial law emphasized mandates that have driven up health
insurance expenses for employers.
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.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170320005856/en/
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