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Farm Bureau Supports Senate Bills to Alleviate Health Insurance Tax

Podcast / Newsline January 31, 2019

The American Farm Bureau Federation supports two Senate bills designed to give farmers and ranchers relief from the Health Insurance Tax. Chad Smith has more.

Smith: When the Health Insurance Tax goes into effect, it will add significantly to the cost of health insurance for a self-employed individual. While Congress has delayed implementation of the tax through 2019, Pat Wolff, AFBF senior director of congressional relations, warns the tax will be in full force come 2020.

Wolff: That’s a tax that’s imposed on health insurance companies based on the premiums they collect from self-employed persons. It adds $500 to the average cost of health insurance for a self-employed person. Legislation has been introduced to delay and repeal that tax.

Smith: S. 172 would delay the HIT through 2021, while S. 80 would get rid of it altogether.  Wolff says the fact that the bills were introduced early gives her hope that Congress will get the issue taken care of for farmers and other self-employed Americans.

Wolff: Farmers need good health insurance and they need to be able to afford it. Anything that adds to the cost of health insurance is just bad. It makes it harder for farmers and ranchers to get good health insurance coverage, and that’s why that tax needs to be repealed.

Smith: Wolff says legislation moves quicker in Congress with a large number of cosponsors signed on. She says that’s where grassroots Farm Bureau members can help.

Wolff: The thing that’s most helpful right now is to get those cosponsors. Any farmer, any rancher, any citizen of the United States who cares about these issues should call their representatives and their senators and ask them to cosponsor the bills.

Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.  

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