There are only hours left and considering the recent developments explained below, it is imperative that you make your voice heard! Go to CFA VOTES! to oppose both the Senate-passed version of health care refom and the reconciliation bill, which was introduced yesterday.
Yesterday morning, the Congressional Budget Office released its score of the reconciliation bill (H.R. 4872, the Reconciliation Act of 2010). The cost is $940 billion over 10 years, more than both the House and Senate bills. It reduces the deficit by $130 billion in the first 10 years and by $1.2 trillion in the second decade.
Later yesterday afternoon, Congress released the language of the reconciliation bill. As you may remember, this bill is intended to address the concerns of more liberal members of the House of Representatives who do not support the Senate-passed version of the bill. Procedurally, the House is planning on passing the Senate-passed version and Congress will then consider the reconciliation bill which requires only a simple majority to pass.
Regarding employer mandates, the reconciliation bill contains the following language and amendments to the Senate-passed version of health care reform:
• Increases penalty from $750 per full-time employee (FTE) to $2,000 per FTE for large employers (>50 employees) that do not offer coverage and have at least one FTE that receives a premium tax credit or cost-sharing subsidy
• Large employers that offer coverage and have at least one FTE that receives a premium tax credit will pay penalties of $3,000 per employee receiving a premium credit.
• New provision disregards the first 30 workers employed by the employer in calculating the amount of the penalty.
• Repeals assessments on employers who require employees to wait more than 30 days to enroll in the employer’s health insurance coverage.
• Allows employers to count part-time workers’ time as “full-time equivalents,” based upon a 30-hour work week per FTE, for the purpose of calculating the penalties.
The language of the bill is still being analyzed and interpreted, but the impact on businesses across the country will be devastating. If you haven’t yet done so, contact your Members of Congress and tell them to oppose health care reform – both the Senate-passed version and the recently publicized reconciliation bill.
Tell your elected officials where you stand! Do it now!