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A service for political professionals · Wednesday, August 21, 2019 · 494,166,379 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Hoyer Statement on the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act

WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on House passage of the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act:

“When Democrats enacted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, we included an excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans based on economists’ view that it would bend the cost curve downward and achieve savings for consumers by discouraging unnecessary overspending on care.  This provision, however, has never come into effect, delayed by subsequent Congresses as policymakers have reassessed the need for such a tax.  In the years since the ACA was enacted and implemented, it has become clearer that the law is already achieving significant cost savings in excess of the revenue this tax on high-cost insurance plans is projected to produce.  Moreover, new economic evidence suggests that this tax on high-cost insurance plans is more likely to shift health costs to working families who are covered under employer-based plans than to slow the growth in overall health care costs any further.  As a result, there is now a strong case for repealing it.  That’s why I supported the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act on the Floor today, though I still have strong reservations that this bill is not paid for, which is unfortunate.  I hope we can work with the Senate to make this change in a way that is fiscally sustainable. 

“Democrats will always defend the ACA and its reforms, and part of that effort has always included a commitment to working in a bipartisan way to assess which parts of the law are working best and which ones need to be changed and improved.  While Republicans remain hell-bent on dismantling the ACA in its entirety, whether by legislation, lawsuit, or executive sabotage, Democrats will continue working to strengthen the law so that it can bring costs down, protect Americans’ access to affordable coverage, and improve outcomes for patients.  I look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Pallone of the Energy and Commerce Committee and others to defend the ACA and expand on its successes.”

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