47 Conservative Groups and Activists: The Senate Should Repeal All Obamacare Taxes

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June 13, 2017

47 Conservative Groups and Activists: The Senate Should Repeal All Obamacare Taxes

June 13, 2017

The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch

Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance

219 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Hatch:

As the Senate continues to make progress on legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, we urge you and your colleagues to include repeal of the nearly 20 taxes imposed by the law.

During a February 1 speech at the Chamber of Commerce, you declared, “All of the ObamaCare taxes need to go as part of the repeal process.”

We agree.

Recent media reports suggest that the Senate may be wavering on repeal of these taxes. This would be a mistake. The final Senate repeal package should retain the broad tax relief that was included in the House passed American Health Care Act.

The roughly one trillion dollars in new or higher taxes imposed by Obamacare directly hit middle class families and small businesses, raise the cost of healthcare, and reduce access to care.

Obamacare taxes directly suppress economic growth. The best example of this is the 3.8 percent so-called Net Investment Income Investment Tax (NIIT) on capital gains and dividends. Historically, capital gains taxes have a significant negative impact on capital formation, productivity, and economic growth while raising little or even negative revenue.

Repealing the 3.8 percent NIIT would return the capital gains tax rate to 20 percent, the rate agreed to by President Clinton and a Republican Congress in 1997.

A related tax hike is the 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on wages and self-employment income, the repeal of which was unfortunately delayed six years by an amendment in the House. It should be repealed as expeditiously as possible.

Other Obamacare taxes directly impact the ability of Americans to meet healthcare costs, such as the income tax hike on families with high medical bills. Around 10 million families pay $200 to $400 in higher income taxes each year because Obamacare increases the threshold at which families can deduct medical expenses paid out of pocket.

Obamacare also makes it harder for individuals to save for their own healthcare choices. Roughly 20 million Americans use tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to save for healthcare costs. Another 30 million use Flexible Spending Accounts. There are multiple taxes that restrict the ability of families to use these savings accounts, which limits the choice of consumers.

Other taxes hit certain healthcare industries, such as insurance providers, medical device and prescription drug manufacturers. Inevitably, these taxes are passed onto American families in the form of increased costs.

Finally, the tax associated with the employer mandate has limited millions of Americans to part-time work and the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate hit eight million Americans in 2014, with a family of four facing an income tax hike exceeding $2,000.

True repeal of Obamacare means repealing the Obamacare taxes and the Senate should resist the urge to deprive taxpayers of relief in order to pay for higher spending.

We commend you on your stance to repeal these Obamacare taxes and urge any final package accelerate or at least maintain the House-passed tax reductions.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist

President, Americans for Tax Reform

James L. Martin

Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Phil Kerpen

President, American Commitment

Steve Pociask

President, American Consumer Institute

Lisa B. Nelson

CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council

Ashley N. Varner

Executive Director, ALEC Action

Dan Weber

President, Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)

Lindsay Boyd

Policy Director, Beacon Center of Tennessee

Norm Singleton

President, Campaign for Liberty

Andrew F. Quinlan

President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Jeff Mazzella

President, Center for Individual Freedom

Chuck Muth

President, Citizen Outreach (Nevada)

Twila Brase, RN, PHN

President and Co-founder, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom

Chip Faulkner

Executive Director, Citizens for Limited Taxation (Massachusetts)

David McIntosh

President, Club for Growth

Michael J. Bowen

CEO, Coalition for a Strong America

Thomas Schatz

President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Katie McAuliffe

Executive Director, Digital Liberty

Adam Brandon

President, FreedomWorks

Richard Watson

Chairman, Florida Center-Right Coalition

Annette Meeks

CEO, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

George Landrith

President, Frontiers of Freedom

Grace-Marie Turner

President, Galen Institute*

Mario H. Lopez

President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

Joseph Bast

President and CEO, The Heartland Institute

Heather R. Higgins

President and CEO, Independent Women’s Voice

Donald P. Racheter, Ph.D.

Chair, Iowa Center-Right Coalition

Tom Giovanetti

President, Institute for Policy Innovation

Ryan Ellis

IRS Enrolled Agent

Seton Motley

President, Less Government

Colin A. Hanna

President, Let Freedom Ring

Stephen Waguespack

President and CEO, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry

Brett Healy

President, The MacIver Institute (Wisconsin)

Mary Adams

Chair, Maine Center-Right Coalition

Bryan Dench

Maine Conservative Activist

Tim Jones

Former Speaker, Missouri House of Representatives

Brian McClung

Chair, Minnesota Center-Right Coalition

Devon Herrick Ph.D.

Senior Fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis

Brandon Arnold

Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

Jeff Kropf

Executive Director, Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation

Jordan Harris and Josh Crawford

Co-Executive Directors, the Pegasus Institute (Kentucky)

Mike Stenhouse

Founder and CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Karen Kerrigan

President and CEO, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams

President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Michael W. Thompson

President , Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Nancy Piotter

Executive Director, Virginians for Quality Healthcare

Gerrye Johnston

Founder/CEO, Women for Democracy in America, Inc.

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