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DelBene Introduces Bill to Strengthen, Not Repeal, the ACA

Rather than repealing the progress made, DelBene’s legislation builds on the Affordable Care Act to help more small businesses provide health insurance to their employees.

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Washington, DC, January 11, 2017 | comments

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) introduced legislation today to expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credit for small businesses, making it more affordable for small employers to offer health coverage to their workers.

“In the last six years, the Affordable Care Act has dramatically improved health coverage and expanded access to care for millions of hard-working Americans. Rather than repeal it, we should do more to ensure the law works for everyone, including small businesses that want to offer health insurance to their employees but are struggling to afford it,” DelBene said. “I’m extremely disappointed that Republicans are determined to repeal Americans’ healthcare rather than taking up commonsense fixes like this. Don’t dismantle the Affordable Care Act — fix it.”

The ACA created a tax credit to help small businesses afford the cost of health coverage for their workers. Unfortunately, too many businesses are either ineligible for the credit or discouraged by the complexity of its requirements to take advantage of this benefit. To help small businesses compete and grow, DelBene introduced the Small Business Tax Credit Accessibility Act (H.R. 432), which would simplify and expand this portion of the law so more businesses can qualify for the credit and provide health coverage to their workers.

To improve the ACA’s small business tax credit, DelBene’s bill would:

  • Allow businesses with up to 50 workers to take advantage of the credit (currently 25);
  • Allow businesses to claim the credit in any three consecutive years (currently two);
  • Allow businesses with up to 20 full-time employees to receive the biggest possible credit (currently 10);
  • Extend the credit to businesses with higher average wages; and
  • Eliminate eligibility requirements that are unnecessarily complex and discourage businesses from claiming the credit.

Rather than make improvements, Republican lawmakers have proposed repealing the small business tax credit entirely as part of the budget reconciliation bill dismantling the ACA.

DelBene now serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over the tax credit. Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03), a member of the House Way and Means subcommittee on Health, is an original cosponsor of the bill.

The legislation is supported by a wide array of national organizations, such as Families USA, Main Street Alliance, the National Association of Health Underwriters, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), the National Retail Federation, Small Business Majority, Third Way and U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

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