U.S. Chamber Health Care Update

Jun 26, 2017

Following the release of the Senate health care legislation, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), there has been an overload of information, analysis, and opinion. To help cut through the clutter, we wanted to provide you with a breakdown of the bill’s primary provisions and explain why this proposal warrants the U.S. Chamber’s support.

The U.S. Chamber has long been committed to preserving an employer-sponsored health care system that improves access to affordable coverage and contributes to economic growth. Unfortunately, the burdensome costs and requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) did the opposite. That is why we were among the first to voice our support for the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) as an important first step in reforming a failed health care scheme.

The Senate’s version of health care reform offers many of the same provisions we supported in the House bill, namely:

  • It will help to stabilize the individual insurance markets the majority of which are collapsing under Obamacare.
    • The bill will infuse $112 billion dollars to help states bring down premiums, promote choice in plans in the individual market, and/or reduce out-of-pocket costs for individuals.
  • It will provide individuals and employers with greater flexibility in obtaining affordable health coverage that meets their needs.
    • The bill loosens up limitations and restrictions on tax preferred accounts funded by employers and individuals to help pay for health care services and items.
    • The bill allows employers to offer greater variation in benefits to employees.
  • It will repeal a variety of taxes on individuals and businesses, which will help reduce the cost of health care coverage and create jobs.
    • The bill repeals the Health Insurance Tax on small businesses and individuals, repeals the medical device tax that unfairly penalizes American manufacturers, and zeros out the employer mandate penalties.

A more detailed summary of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 is available here.

While the BCRA isn’t perfect–no piece of legislation is–it advances many of the Chamber’s key priorities and makes significant improvements to existing law. With a vote expected on Thursday, we will continue to work with lawmakers to express our support for the bill and hope you will reach out to your Senators to share your community’s health care priorities.

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