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NAW News

NAW Urges the Senate to Pass a Key Procedural Motion to Begin Debate

- July 2017

     Washington, DC (July 25, 2017) ... Today, NAW sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging the Senate to pass a key procedural motion to begin debate on health care reform legislation.  While applauding Leader McConnell’s “herculean effort to develop consensus around a market-oriented, patient-centered approach to the reform/replacement of Obamacare,” NAW President, Dirk Van Dongen, and Senior Vice President-Government Relations, Jade West, wrote, “It is now time to take the effort on health care reform legislation to the full Senate for disposition” which first requires success on the procedural vote. Without that, “the American people will be deprived of a thorough exchange of Senators’ views on the merits of health care reform.”

 

     The letter, in its entirety, appears below:

 

Dear Mr. Leader:

We write on behalf of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) to urge the Senate to pass the motion to proceed to HR 1628, the fiscal year 2017 reconciliation bill. Whether passage of the motion to proceed ultimately leads to a vote on a proposal to repeal and replace significant components of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “Obamacare”) or one to simply repeal portions of it, the American people will be deprived of a thorough exchange of Senators’ views on the merits of health care reform absent passage of the motion to proceed.

Throughout the debate on this issue in both houses of Congress, NAW has made clear the belief of our member companies of every size and description, that the Nation’s seven-year experiment with Obamacare has failed and cries out for replacement. While the herculean effort to develop consensus around a market-oriented, patient-centered approach to the reform/replacement of Obamacare has apparently not borne sufficient fruit to date, conspicuous by its absence is the process in the Senate by which legislation is called up and debated, amendments are offered and disposed, and an up or down vote determines the fate of the legislative result of that labor.

NAW withholds judgement on the bill on which the vote on passage will occur until its content in full is known. We wish to highlight our strong support for provisions to:

  • Reduce to zero employer mandate penalties;
     
  • Repeal as many ACA-enacted cost-generating taxes as possible, in particular the 40% excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans (the “Cadillac Tax”) and the annual fee on health insurance providers (the “Health Insurance Tax” or “HIT”);
     
  • Expand health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts; and
     
  • Authorize of the formation and multistate operation of small business health plans.

Mr. Leader, NAW members appreciate and thank you for the leadership you have exerted on this important matter. It is now time to take the effort on health care reform legislation to the full Senate for disposition. NAW respectfully urges all Senators to vote in favor of the motion to proceed to HR 1628.