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Manufacturers’ Association Dismayed About Looming Costs
As the Senate moved to end debate and vote on Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President John Engler issued the following statement in opposition to the bill:
We are truly dismayed to see health care legislation advancing in the Senate that does nothing to contain costs for America’s manufacturers and job creators. This bill raises costs for manufacturers at a time they can’t afford it. Our members are going to be the spark plug for economic recovery but with this bill they will be burdened with new taxes and other limitations.
Ninety-seven percent of NAM members voluntarily provide health benefits to their employees and have expressed a desire to continue to do so.
Reform should be about reducing costs, improving access and preserving what is working in the current system – not limiting manufacturers’ ability to provide generous health care benefits.
The Senate bill puts in place an excise tax on health insurance plans that will add to costs for both manufacturers and their employees. We believe that companies with older workforces and smaller self-insured plans will be hit especially hard by an excise tax due to the higher cost of their benefits. We are also disappointed to see discriminatory tax proposals that single out specific industries to pay for health care reform.
Nearly 70 percent of all manufacturers organize as “S” corporations or other flow-through entities and pay income taxes at the individual rate. Under this bill there will be a surtax on wage income in excess of $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples under the Medicare payroll tax. Further, this bill discourages flexible design benefits for employees and employers by putting new limitations on flexible spending accounts (FSAs), valuable savings tools. These provisions increase costs and threaten the quality of care employees now currently receive.
By ending debate and moving forward with this bill, the Senate is creating even more uncertainty for manufacturers and stifling their ability to grow and remain competitive in a global market. Ultimately this bill is bad for business, bad for jobs and is bad for a timely recovery. We urge Senators to oppose this bill and to start over toward true health care reform that lowers costs, improves care and does not hurt the economy and job creation.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103