"Now we have a chance to get it right."NRF VP Neil Trautwein
WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation welcomed the House Budget Committee’s 19-17 approval today of Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation, which sets the stage for a vote by the full House as soon as next week.
“This legislation contains many long-sought victories for retailers, most importantly the effective repeal of the employer mandate,” NRF Vice President for Health Care Policy Neil Trautwein said. “Health insurance reform was supposed to make coverage more affordable. Instead, Obamacare emphasized mandates that only drove up expenses for the employers who provide the vast majority of that coverage. Now we have a chance to get it right by moving our nation toward a more competition-driven health care market, and this bill takes a number of significant steps in that direction. Overall, this is a very good deal for retailers.”
Legislation approved this morning includes several provisions supported by NRF. It would effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate by reducing the penalty for non-compliance to zero; repeals the so-called Cadillac tax on high-value health plans until 2025; would lead to future insurance premium savings by repealing the health insurance tax, medical device tax and pharmaceutical tax; increases flexibility for health savings accounts; and takes a substantial first step toward Medicaid entitlement reform.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.