Republican Senators Trying to Derail One Provision of Healthcare Reform

Senate Republicans want to fast-track an amendment that repeals a portion of the new healthcare reform law. Whether or not they will be able to accomplish this is another question.Republicans make first attempt at scuttling healthcare reform legislation.

Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) has proposed legislation to rescind a provision in the new law that requires businesses to report purchases of $600 or more to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Business lobbyists such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) both support the legislation.  Republicans want to attach the repeal provision to a broader bill intended to help small businesses.  According to the Chamber and the NFIB, the provision places a burdensome obligation on the nation’s 40 million small businesses.  Under this provision of the healthcare reform bill, businesses are required to file an IRS 1099 form for non-credit card purchases totaling $600 or more.  Johanns says that rule is “overly burdensome.”

To make up for the $17 billion that the provision would raise, Johanns has proposed reducing the individual mandate threshold and defer $16 billion in funding for wellness programs.  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and other Republicans have introduced legislation that would kill the Independent Payment Advisory Board that the healthcare reform law created.  Democratic Senators who wrote the legislation counter that the board is needed to reduce consistently increasing healthcare costs.

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