Employee Benefits Compliance

Senate Votes NOT to Repeal Health Care Reform

The Senate voted on February 2, 2011 NOT to repeal the current Health Care Reform law.  The vote was strictly on party lines, with 50 Democrats and one independent voting not to repeal it and 47 Republicans voting for repeal.  Republics would need 60 votes to repeal the law.  Republicans said they will try to de-fund the HCR law as it is implemented, and also will introduce other bills to repeal all or parts of the HCR law.The Senate did, however, vote to repeal one unpopular provision of the current Health Care Reform law:  the tax reporting requirement that (beginning in 2012) would have required employers to issue 1099’s for any payments of $600 or more to corporations providing goods or services (Section 9006 of PPACA).  (Currently 1099 requires companies to report services worth $600 or more provided by individuals or non-corporate entities.)  President Obama said in his State of the Union address last week that the HCR change to the 1099 reporting requirement was one provision of the HCR law that Democrats were willing to repeal.

Republicans have said they will try to repeal specific provisions of the HCR law, including the controversial mandate that will require most Americans to purchase health insurance starting in 2014.  It’s unclear at this time whether Republicans will focus on repealing this major provision or will start chipping away at others.  Two federal courts have held the individual mandate unconstitutional, and two others have upheld it.

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