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ABC urged the U.S. House of Representatives to pass two bills that would modernize vital health care programs and provide much-needed relief to small businesses and their employees, designating them as key votes for its scorecard on the 115th Congress on July 23.

The two bills—Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act (H.R. 6311) and Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act (H.R. 6199) —seek to address the skyrocketing costs of health insurance and provide greater health care options to hardworking Americans.   

“Providing quality health care benefits is a top priority for ABC and its member companies,” said Kristen Swearingen, ABC vice president of legislative and political affairs. “Combined, these bills make critical changes to expand and modernize health savings and flex spending accounts, which provide our members with tax-free savings accounts and allow employees to set aside pre-tax funds each year to be used for medical expenses. These accounts help many small business owners obtain more affordable health coverage for themselves and their employees.”  

Another critical aspect of H.R. 6311 is a provision to implement a two-year delay of the Affordable Care Act health insurance premium tax (HIT) in years 2020 and 2021. Under the HIT, a fee is assessed on health insurance companies—almost all of which is passed on to consumers in the fully insured marketplace, where nearly all small businesses and the self-employed purchase coverage. While the HIT is in effect for 2018, it has been delayed for 2019, and a further delay until 2021 will provide much-needed certainty for ABC members and their employees.

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