Kiss two controversial requirements of the healthcare reform law goodbye.
As expected, the 1099 requirement — which says payments in excess of $600 made to vendors for goods and services must be reported — was dropped. President Obama just signed a law making it official.
More surprising though, is that it appears another element of the reform law got the axe, too: the “Free Choice Voucher” provision.
Starting in 2014, the voucher system would allow workers who make less than 400% of the federal poverty line to get a voucher if their employer-sponsored coverage would cost them between 8% and 9.8% of their income.
Employees would then have to use the vouchers to purchase alternative coverage through state health exchanges.
Employers were not a fan of the voucher system. Their concern was that younger, healthier employees would opt for cheaper coverage offered in the exchanges. That would reduce the number of healthy employees in company-sponsored programs — thus driving up the cost.
House votes for more cuts
The Prevention and Public Health Fund — which was created by the reform law — is also under attack
The House just voted 236-183 to pass a bill that would eliminate the fund.
The purpose of the fund, according to the reform law: support public health initiatives like fighting obesity, reducing smoking and promoting better nutrition.
But House Republicans have called it a “slush fund” for the secretary of Health and Human Services.
The Senate still has to vote on the bill, which appears to have little chance of passing.
Reason: The White House has already said it would veto the bill, claiming it would worsen the nation’s health and increase care costs.
What do you think? Would you like to see the fund eliminated? Share your thoughts in the Reply Box below.
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