Thursday, May 26, 2011

Small Business Health Relief Act Would Repeal Parts of 2010 Health Reform Legislation

On May 23, Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) introduced the “Small Business Health Relief Act of 2011,” describing it as a bill to repeal “onerous provisions of ObamaCare that raise the price of health insurance and that especially hurt small businesses.” The reference to ObamaCare is to the health reform legislation signed into law last year, namely the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, P.L. 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Reconciliation Act, P.L. 111-152).

Among other changes, the “Small Business Health Relief Act of 2011” would:

... Repeal the following sections of PPACA (and associated Code provisions): Sec. 1513, dealing with shared responsibility for employers, i.e., imposing under certain circumstances a penalty on large employers not providing certain levels of health coverage (Code Sec. 4980H); Sec. 1514, requiring employer reporting of health insurance coverage (Code Sec. 6056, and Code Sec. 6724(d)); and Sec. 10106(e), (f) and (g) (which carry changes to Code Sec. 4980H).

... Provide that health savings accounts under Code Sec. 223, be treated as essential health benefits under Sec. 1302 of PPACA.

... Repeal Sec. 9003 of PPACA, which provides that, beginning after 2010, the cost of over-the-counter medicines can't be reimbursed with excludible income through a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA), health reimbursement account (HRA), health savings account (HSA), or Archer MSA, unless the medicine is prescribed by a doctor or is insulin.

... Repeal Secs. 9005 and 10902 of PPACA and Sec. 1403 of the Reconciliation Act, imposing a $2,500 annual cap after 2012 on health FSA benefits in a cafeteria plan (Code Sec. 125(i)).

... Broaden the grandfathered health plan coverage rules in Sec. 1251 of PPACA.

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