(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) Even if Congress can’t repeal and replace Obamacare, policy specialists are insisting Congress can and should find a way to ward off one particular Obamacare tax that otherwise will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Unless Congress acts, Obamacare’s rules will apply a “Health Insurance Tax” (HIT) of between 4 and 6 percent on every health plan, other than self-insurance, sold in America. Critics have urged Congress for months to use various legislative vehicles to repeal or at least delay the tax, but so far Congress has not been able to make a repeal or delay fit in to any one bill.

The HIT was originally slated to take effect several years ago, but Congress delayed it several times, most recently in a government-funding bill President Barack Obama signed in 2015.

Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform wrote that “Next year alone, the health insurance tax will total $12.3 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Over the next decade it will result in nearly $145 billion in higher taxes.”

Norquist further wrote: “Any [of HIT’s] costs are passed directly to small businesses that provide healthcare to their employees, and middle class families through higher premiums. The tax even impacts the care received by seniors through Medicare advantage coverage and low-income Americans that rely on Medicaid managed care. According to the American Action Forum, the tax is responsible for premiums increasing by as much as $5,000 over a decade and half of the tax will be paid by those earning less than $50,000 a year.”

Even if insurance companies don’t pass the entire tax directly through to consumers, a group of companies led by United Health publicized a study showing HIT alone would force premium hikes next year of 2.6 percent. And that’s on top of other factors causing huge premium increases in an Obamacare market struggling to stay afloat….

[The full news story is here.]

 

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