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Senators Introduce the Obamacare Tax Relief and Consumer Choice Act

July 14, 2016

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353

Washington, D.C.- Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), John McCain (R-Arizona), James Lankford (R- Oklahoma), Ron Johnson (R- Wisconsin) and Richard Burr (R- North Carolina) today introduced the Obamacare Tax Relief and Consumer Choice Act of 2016, legislation that would suspend the individual mandate when health insurance premiums rise and provide relief to people who can't afford Obamacare deductibles. 

"Obamacare has failed. Premiums are skyrocketing by more than 50 percent in some states, deductibles average more than $5,000 for the cheapest plans, and networks are shrinking Even worse, many of those same families will face a massive tax penalty because they can't afford care," said Senator Cotton. "I am committed to fully repealing Obamacare. In the meantime, this bill will protect hard-working Arkansans and all Americans from the premium hikes, the mandate, and will provide alternatives through expanded access to Health Savings Accounts."

"I'm proud to help introduce this bill that seeks to provide financial relief from Obamacare, and help New Hampshire families plan and save for health care costs. Across the Granite State, families have told me Obamacare horror stories about higher premiums and deductibles. To address this burden, our bill would exempt people from the law's individual mandate to purchase health insurance if their plan's premiums increase by 10 percent or the average of their home state's premiums increase by more than 10 percent. It would also give families more options, including by removing restrictions on health savings accounts" said Senator Ayotte.

"The failures of Obamacare have become a broken record," said Senator McCain. "Premiums are skyrocketing, insurance companies are facing massive losses, co-ops are going under leaving thousands of Arizonans out-to-dry, and citizens are facing higher health care costs for decreased quality of care and fewer choices. This legislation would provide relief to Arizonans and Americans across the country who have been hit the hardest by out-of-control health care costs under Obamacare. Arizonans shouldn't be forced by the government to pay potentially thousands of dollars for something the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats have made increasingly unaffordable. Obamacare is the wrong solution to fixing our health care system, and we will continue working to repeal and replace it with solutions that work for the American people."

"Besides dramatically increasing health insurance premiums on American families, Obamacare stripped away a valuable tool that patients all across our country came to depend on-health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts," said Senator Lankford. "These valuable tools are used by people all across our nation to help with the cost of high deductibles, co-pays and other out-of-pocket medical expenses using tax-free dollars. This bill repeals these harmful Obamacare provisions, and restores the full ability for Americans to utilize these valuable savings and spending health care accounts."

"The ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act' - Obamacare - has completely failed to live up to its name," said Senator Johnson. "Not only have Americans lost the plans and doctors they were repeatedly assured they could keep, Americans were promised average family premiums would go down - they did not. I've heard from families across Wisconsin, pleading to undo the damage the law has caused. Until we are able to repeal Obamacare, we should at least stop forcing people to buy insurance that turns out to be unaffordable."

"Families across America are fed up with the skyrocketing health insurance premiums Obamacare is forcing them to pay," said Senator Burr. "I'm pleased to be joining with my colleagues to provide North Carolinians relief from Obamacare's painful double-digit premium increases. I'm committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that Americans have access to quality health care at a price they can afford."

Background: Spiraling healthcare costs cause the Obamacare mandate tax to hit the most vulnerable Americans. This bill provides targeted relief from some of Obamacare's most costly provisions by:

  • Provides mandate relief
    • New exemption if state average premium increase is greater than 10 percent
    • Expand affordability exemption to account for the cost of deductibles.
  • Provide tax-favorable alternative to Obamacare
    • Removes ObamaCare's 20 percent tax on Health Savings Accounts.
    • Allows Health Savings Accounts to be used for over-the-counter drugs and medical costs, such as Claritin or Zantac