Senators move to stop ObamaCare tax

Most attention in the ObamaCare fight has focused on the courts especially the Supreme Court's decision to weigh the constitutionality of the requirement that every American buy or have health insurance. But let's not forget some of the other onerous provisions of the law that don't require a court override. Congress can always repeal parts of all of the law, including the health insurance mandate.

One of those other provisions is the Health Insurance Tax (aptly called HIT and found in Section 9010) which is a tax on insurers but which clearly will be passed on to consumers. Opponents of the tax argue that it will mostly hurt small business employers and the self-employed--the people who generate about two-thirds of the national's jobs.

Here is one explanation:

How does the tax work?

Messaged as a "health insurance fee," the HIT is actually a hidden tax on small business. PPACA assesses a tax on all health insurance companies based on their "net premiums" written. The tax will raise $8 billion starting in 2014, $14.3 billion in 2018 and more in later years. The amount of the HIT that the insurance company is responsible for is roughly equal to the percent of the market subject to the tax that the insurance company covers. The larger the insurance company’s market-share, the higher their annual HIT. Insurers and economists have consistently agreed throughout the health care debate that new taxes on insurers inevitably mean new costs passed along to customers. The group that experiences the most cost shifting is the fully insured market.

Here is the announcement of the new legislation to hit the HIT from the tax's opponents. Here is more background, also from another opponent. Note the comments.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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