GOP Plan To Defund Healthcare Will Mean Higher Taxes And Insurance Costs For Small Business
by Sandi Behrns
Immediately following passage of the historic Affordable Care Act, Republicans began talking about repeal. Progressives laughed, knowing that repeal would be virtually impossible. Despite the appealing rhetoric this continues to provide for the Tea Party base of the party, the GOP has come to acknowledge that repeal won’t happen.
Plan B is to defund the program. They can’t do that completely because some funding was included in the bill, but they could make trouble through appropriations to the HHS and Treasury. Looks like they’ve decided attacking funding for the IRS is a winning strategy.
“Repeal is not within the set of possible outcomes while President Obama holds his veto pen. However, a defunding strategy could throw sand in the gears of health care and bring it to a near standstill,” said Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.
Some Republican members of the House of Representatives have already made clear their intention to target IRS funding. “We have the power of the purse,” Rep. Phil Gingrey (R., Ga.) said during a CNN appearance last month.
“Every one of these agencies involved in implementing this new law will need $ 5 billion to $10 billion of appropriations. We can stop that and we can certainly stop the IRS from hiring,” said Gingrey.
The downside for anti-tax Republicans who claim to revere small business?
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The Treasury Dept. says the IRS won’t be able to provide small business health insurance tax credits if Congress blocks funding for implementing the health care law.
“It’s unfortunate that some in Congress want to pursue a plan that would leave millions of small businesses with higher taxes and higher health insurance bills,” said Sandra Salstrom, a Treasury Dept. spokeswoman.
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