ESTIMATED $2 TRILLION PRICE TAG WILL HURT AMERICA’S ABILITY TO COMPETE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President John Engler issued the following statement regarding House passage of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (H.R. 3590) and the “Reconciliation Act of 2010” (H.R. 4872):
“It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives passed a health care bill that is going to increase costs and make it difficult for manufacturers to continue to offer generous health benefits.
Ninety-seven percent of NAM member companies voluntarily provide health care benefits not only to attract a skilled workforce, but because they believe it is the right thing to do for employees. The legislation passed today will stifle manufacturers’ ability to grow and create jobs while competing in a challenging global economy.
Manufacturers oppose many of the provisions in this legislation, as they would increase their health care costs, including:
• Excise taxes on health insurance plans which would adversely impact many companies with older workforces and/or smaller self-insured plans.
Increase in and expansion of the Medicare hospital insurance (HI) tax, which would increase taxes on investment income and unfairly target some 70 percent of U.S. manufacturers that file taxes at the individual rate.
• Limits on Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) that would curb design flexibility options for manufacturers and place an immediate tax increase on employees that use these tools.
• New industry-specific fees that single out particular industries to pay for health care reform.
• Repeal of the tax exclusion for prescription drug subsidies, which would significantly increase employers’ costs and make it more difficult for them to continue offering health benefits to their retirees.
This legislation is fundamentally flawed. Based on the Congressional Budget Office numbers, the Act could cost as much as $2 trillion over 10 years once it takes full effect. We entered this debate believing health care reform was about reducing costs through legal liability reform, delivery reform and enhancing competition by allowing employers to purchase insurance across state lines.
Manufacturing has lost 2.2 million jobs since December 2007; this is no time to place additional burdens on America’s job creators. America’s manufacturers will continue to advocate for real health care reform that lowers costs, improves care and does not impede our ability to create jobs, grow our economy and remain competitive in a global market.”
Laura Narvaiz (202-637-3104)