The Senate today passed legislation repealing the much-criticized 1099 reporting provision in the healthcare reform law and sent the bill to President Obama for his signature.
President Obama is expected to sign the bill despite concerns raised by the President and other Democrats that the measure is a $25 billion tax on the middle class.
The 1099 provision would have raised $19 billion to help pay for health reform.
The provision would have required business owners, starting in 2012, to file a tax reporting document for all vendors from which they buy $600 worth of goods or services within a year.
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors lauded the Senate decision. NAIFA also urged Congress as a next step to pass legislation that would exempt agent commissions from the medical loss ration of the healthcare reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
But, the bill’s chief Senate sponsor, Sen. Mike Johannes, R-Neb., cautioned in comments after the vote that repealing other provisions of the law may be an uphill climb.
In an interview with Politico, a political website, immediately after the vote, Sen. Johanns said, “This was a provision in the health care law that pretty quickly everybody agreed was foolish.”And yet we had over a dozen votes to get to this point.
“Can you imagine what kind of battle you would have on a key part of the health care bill?,” he added. “Once something becomes law in the federal government, it is very hard to amend it or tweak it unless there is unanimous agreement.”
The bill, H.R. 4, passed the Senate 87-12 after an effort by Democrats to strip the $25 billion measure failed, 41-58.
A bill passed by the Senate earlier this year called for paying for the $21.9 billion increase in the deficit through repeal of the provision by giving the Office of Management and Budget the ability to take away nearly $44 billion of discretionary budget authority – except from the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Social Security – to offset the loss from the 1099 repeal.