This week, Republicans in the House voted to repeal the new health care law, setting up a showdown in the Senate and practically guaranteeing a veto from President Obama. Ahhh… This is what the new political landscape is going to look like, I guess.

The measure to repeal the health care law was deemed so important that it was HR 2 – the second bill introduced into the House this year. The vote passed along party lines, 245-189, with only three Democrats voting in favor; those votes came from Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) and Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR). All other Democrats voted against the bill except Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) who, for obvious reasons, abstained. No Republican voted against the bill.

The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) had, as its official title: To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The text of the bill, as engrossed in the House, is just 339 words long.

In response to efforts to repeal the law, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has written a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), advising that estimates suggest that a repeal would increase the deficit by $230 billion from 2012 to 2021. It’s also estimated that an additional 32 million would be uninsured in 2019 as a consequence. Boehner’s response to the letter was, “I do not believe that repealing the job-killing health care law will increase the deficit.”

While Congress debates the merits of a repeal, and trust me, there will be significant debate, three Senators, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are encouraging Boehner to consider other pending health care legislation. They specifically support H.R. 4, which was introduced by Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-CA) and has as its official title: To repeal the expansion of information reporting requirements for payments of $600 or more to corporations, and for other purposes.

H.R. 4 has as its goal the repeal of Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In other words, it would get rid of the dreaded 1099 expansion provisions that were included in the health care law. That provision required businesses to issue forms 1099 to individuals and corporations which provide more than $600 in goods or services during the year.

Prior efforts to repeal the expanded reporting requirement have failed, despite support for the repeal of the provision from President Obama. However, this one might have some steam. The new bill, referred to as the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011, has been getting some favorable reactions from small businesses and politicians. Both Republicans and Democrats seem to acknowledge that there will not be enough votes in the Senate to push through a complete repeal of the health care bill – but a cut and paste approach to eliminate some of the more unpopular provisions, like the 1099 reporting requirements, might work. H.R. 4 currently sits in the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Kelly Erb is a tax attorney and tax writer.

1 Comment

  1. At work, I had an impromptu conference call with my boss and a coworker yesterday to establish that I’ll do what I’m already doing this week, and to rehash the fact that we have a meeting on Monday to discuss what we all already know I’m going to be doing next week.

    That seems downright productive compared to Mr. Boehner’s House.

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