The Auto Care Association has been at the forefront of lobbying for small business healthcare reform for many years. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 and subsequent modifications, rulemakings and regulatory “fixes,” our efforts have shifted to a few key provisions that the business community believes can still be improved with bipartisan support. Over 80% of the fully-insured market is made up of small businesses who were (and still are) counting on these improvements to healthcare. Many of these same changes will also benefit the self-insured market.

The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) was written into the ACA strictly as a revenue-raiser, and although the HIT applies to the insurance carriers, it became a pass-through that has added $400-500 annually to family premiums except for one-year reprieves in 2016 and 2018 when the provision was rescinded as part of different budget deals. The tax is due back in 2020 and we are supporting legislation that will delay or repeal the HIT, including the Jobs and Premium Protection Act (H.R. 246), the Healthcare Tax Relief Act (S. 1859) and the Small Business and Family Health Tax Relief Act of 2017 (S. 1978).

The association, through its membership and participation in the Partnership for Employer Sponsored Coverage, is lobbying for the Commonsense Reporting Act (S. 2366/H.R. 4070) in the 116th Congress. The bill would create a voluntary prospective reporting system, streamline the reporting process and modernize the transmission of information to individuals. Efforts continue to make sure that this ACA “fix” is included in any major healthcare initiatives.

Additionally, the Partnership is supporting the Employee Flexibility Act (S. 1510/H.R. 2782). This legislation would address the need to align the federal full-time employee health care definition with the Fair Labor Standards Act level of 40 hours, which would therefore enable variable workforce and part-time employees to pick up and trade shifts. Offering employees flexibility enables them to gain hours and increase their paychecks.

The association is also working with the regulatory agencies to ensure that future reforms to the ACA follow guidelines that keep affordability as a priority.

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