Baucus To Offer Bill To Amend Business Provision In Health Law
The Hill Healthwatch blog: "A leading Senate Democrat vowed Friday to introduce legislation killing a part of the new healthcare reform law that imposes new tax-filing requirements on small businesses. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee and a leading architect of the reform law, said a provision requiring businesses to report more purchases to the IRS will impose undue paperwork burdens on companies amid an economic downturn when they can least afford it. Baucus, who had pushed legislation scaling back the requirement earlier in the year, now wants it repealed in full. ... House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday that the 1099 requirement is one of the rare provisions of the healthcare law where the two parties agree that a change is needed. 'That's probably the first place we could go together,' she told NPR's 'Morning Edition.'"
President Barack Obama has also expressed interest in changing the provision (Lillis, 11/12).
Politico: "The so-called 1099 provision would require businesses to file paperwork for all cumulative purchases from a vendor that top $600 in a year. It would have raised about $17 billion to help cover reform. ... The senator said he would introduce legislation to repeal the requirement. His office did not release the text or how he would pay for it. ... The requirement has proven to be a political hot potato. Both Republicans and Democrats have introduced legislation in the House and Senate to repeal the provision, but both paid for the measure with taxes or cuts that the other party would never support. Democrats have been reluctant to allow any 'repeal' measure to pass, whereas Republicans are likely to use any victory on repealing a piece of the law as a sign that the rest of the law can be undone, too" (Haberkorn, 11/12).
The Wall Street Journal: "The measure was originally devised by the Bush administration, but it was Mr. Baucus who inserted it into the health-care bill as a means to partially pay for that legislation's cost. The requirement proved to be a touchstone issue in the wake of the health-care debate, provoking a reaction from business owners that surprised many in the Obama administration and congressional Democrats with its intensity" (Boles, 11/12).
CNN Money: "Business owners say that the [requirement] -- intended to raise tax revenue by increasing compliance -- will swamp them with an onerous flood of paperwork. Republicans have [led] the charge for repeal of what they called a 'job-killing' requirement. National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson warned that the burden of filing all those additional forms 'may turn out to be disproportionate' to the benefit it will deliver. ... Small business advocates have been lobbying hard to get the measure repealed. 'We are pleased to see that our leaders on both sides of the aisle are willing to do the right thing for our nation's job creators,' Dan Danner, president and CEO of National Federation of Independent Business, said in a prepared statement. 'Small business should be the one thing that unifies our leaders as we work to come out of these difficult economic times'" (Clifford, 11/12).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.