NAM: Just Say No to Health Care Reform Bill

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), an industrial trade association representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states, sent a letter today to the House of Representatives urging members to oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related budget reconciliation legislation.

In the letter, NAM Executive Vice President Jay Timmons predicts the pending legislation not only will raise costs but “ultimately will destroy jobs” at a time when the nation already is reeling on both fronts.

”With unemployment in America close to 10 percent and the loss of 2.2 million manufacturing jobs, this is not the right time to place more burdens on America’s job creators,” Timmons writes, noting that NAM will oppose any proposal that it deems would make it more expensive or more difficult for employers to offer health benefits.

”We regret that neither the House-passed Affordable Health Care for America Act nor the Senate-passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes important policies that would lower manufacturers’ health care costs -- particularly in the areas of legal liability reform, enhancing competition by allowing employers to purchase insurance across state lines, and robust delivery reform,” the letter says. “Moreover, we adamantly oppose provisions that would increase manufacturers’ health care costs. . . .”

Among the provisions Timmons says NAM opposes are excise taxes on health insurance plans, which he says will adversely impact many companies with older workforces and those with smaller self-insured plans; increases in and expansion of the Medicare hospital insurance tax; limits on flexible spending accounts; industry-specific fees; and repeal of the tax exclusion for prescription drug subsidies.

NAM notes that most American manufacturers – and 97 percent of NAM member companies – voluntarily offer health benefits. “Our members support proposals that reduce soaring health costs, improve the efficiency of the current system and enhance the quality of care,” Timmons writes. He adds that while NAM opposes the current health care reform bill, the association “will continue to advocate for reforms that lower costs and improve care but do not put undue burdens on those who keep our country growing and competitive in a global marketplace.” To read Timmons letter to the House in full, go to www.nam.org/~/media/286EDE4BE504462DBC870346A45DC987.ashx.

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