The Daily Caller: Rep. Messer Op-Ed: Delivering Relief From The Burden Of Obamacare Taxes
February 14, 2018
The President’s tax cut plan is already delivering higher wages, more jobs and lower taxes for Hoosiers. FedEx recently announced a $1.5 billion investment in its Indiana workforce because of the tax cuts, Family Express in Northern Indiana announced it is raising its base pay, and Fifth Third Bank is raising wages and giving out more than $13 million in bonuses to its employees.
You’ve likely heard hundreds of similar announcements from across the country, including in our state.
But what you may not know is the President’s tax cut plan is also delivering relief from Obamacare.
The President’s tax cut plan repeals the “core” of Obamacare – the individual mandate – which forced Hoosiers to either purchase health insurance or pay a $695 government fine.
This Obamacare penalty was a giant tax on low- and middle-income Hoosiers who couldn’t afford Obamacare’s skyrocketing premiums, which have increased by 74 percent in Indiana since the law took effect.
In 2015, nearly 140,000 Hoosiers paid this onerous individual mandate penalty, and of those, more than 80 percent earned less than $50,000 per year.
One of my constituents from Batesville said it best: “I can’t afford health insurance yet I get fined by the government for not having insurance.”
Repealing the individual mandate is a step away from government control of our healthcare and our day-to-day lives, and a return to freedom for all Americans. It will put Indiana families back in charge of their healthcare decisions instead of Washington bureaucrats and is a major step toward fully repealing Obamacare.
Relief is also coming from another burdensome Obamacare tax – the medical device tax. This Obamacare tax harmed Indiana’s medical device industry, which is the second largest in the nation and employs approximately 20,000 Hoosiers.
This tax caused Hoosier businesses to halt innovation, expansion and hiring in Warsaw, Bloomington, Mishawaka, Indianapolis and several other Indiana communities. For individual consumers, this tax drives up the cost of already expensive and essential medical devices, like pacemakers and blood stints.
In 2015, Congress voted to delay the tax for two years, bringing temporary relief to Hoosiers, but it went back into effect on the first of the year. I pushed to include a permanent repeal of the tax as part of a recent government funding bill. The final bill that President Trump signed into law delays the tax for another two years.
This is a step in the right direction, and I will continue to fight on behalf of Hoosier workers to permanently repeal this bad tax. It’s time to provide certainty in the marketplace, or risk having these jobs shipped overseas.
There’s more work to do to reduce the cost of healthcare for Hoosiers, but rolling back these crushing Obamacare mandates and taxes is a good start.
Rep. Luke Messer serves as Congressman for Indiana’s 6th Congressional District.