House Passes Health Care Reform Bill Detrimental To The Baking Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. Despite the universal calls to contain skyrocketing health care costs, Congress has unfortunately taken steps this past weekend that will continue to harm the U.S. economy by passing the misnamed Affordable Health Care for America Act, said ABA President and CEO Robb MacKie. This bill does nothing to reduce health care costs in America but in fact would raise taxes on bakers and their suppliers through the many onerous provisions included in the bill.

A few of the many harmful provisions in the House bill include:

  • The creation of a government run, public health care plan that will ultimately raise private insurance rates for the baking industry;
  • The erosion of critical ERISA provisions bakers have relied upon to offer competitive benefits across state lines;
  • The mandated reduction of successful health benefit plans, including health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts; and
  • Government control over what health care benefits bakers must offer to employees.

ABA advised members of Congress on Tuesday, Nov. 3, that the vote on the health
care reform bill would be a key vote for the baking industry. This bill impacts the baking industry in many negative ways, said Cory Martin, ABA senior manager of government relations. It is critically important for bakers to understand how their member of Congress voted, and if their congressperson supported the bill, find out why he or she voted to increase taxes on business by almost half a trillion dollars over the next ten years. This tax will kill business development and will strain businesses already struggling to retain and create new jobs, Mr. Martin concluded.

ABA would like to thank its many members who contacted their elected representatives urging them to oppose the House bill, said Mr. MacKie. The Senate will soon begin renewed discussions of a health care reform package with the hopes of passing legislation before the beginning of next year. ABA will be calling on bakers to contact their Senators in the coming days and weeks to urge them to support reform that effectively contains health care costs without adding prohibitive taxes on the baking industry, added Mr. MacKie.

Source: The American Bakers Association