A recently introduced bill to help lower health insurance costs for small business owners has the backing of farmers and ranchers. Offered by Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), the legislation (H.R. 246) would repeal the annual fee on health insurance providers enacted as part of Affordable Care Act.
"The bill addresses one of the major concerns that farmers and ranchers have related to health insurance - cost. The health insurance tax (HIT) has increased health insurance costs for farmers, ranchers and other small businesses by imposing a levy on the net premiums of health insurance companies, which is passed on to consumers. During 2014, $8 billion of excise taxes were levied, and $11 billion were collected in 2015 and 2016 each," American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in aletter to House membersurging them to support the bill.
While a one-year moratorium on the tax is in effect for 2017, the HIT, which increases year-over-year, will be back in 2018. "Providing one year of relief from the HIT was a welcome and critical first step, but Americans need the certainty of a full repeal," Duvall said.