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MSCI's Position on Health Care

While recent federal reform efforts included several important consumer protections, they’ve done little to slow the pace of health care cost inflation and have increased burdens on employers. Nationally, health care spending is expected to increase an average of 5.8 percent annually through 2024. At the same time, Washington has made it more difficult and costly for businesses to provide comprehensive health insurance plans to employees and their families. New business costs and mandates will force employers to cut employee benefits and hours, hurting American workers instead of helping them. Washington must preserve what works in our health care system while reforming what does not. 

The average cost to manufacturers for family health insurance premiums has increased from $6,549 in 2000 to $16,538 in 2014. Getting control of unsustainable health care costs will improve our members’ ability to provide good benefits for their employees and compete in a global economy.

Policymakers must –

  • Preserve what is working and eliminate what does not.
  • Repeal the Affordable Care Act provisions that have increased regulatory and tax costs for employers and employees.
  • Pass innovative, consumer-driven reforms that reduce individual, family and business costs and improve access to and the quality of care. 
Health Care Issues MSCI is Acting On

Beginning in 2016, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) must provide health insurance to those FTEs or face an Internal Revenue Service fine. The employer mandate, which was part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, may also penalize employers who don’t offer “affordable” coverage. This penalty has had severe unintended consequences. It’s caused employers to delay hiring new full-time employees and cut back hours for current workers so they are counted as part-time, instead of full-time. By reducing the hourly standard from 40 hours to 30, the mandate also eroded the historical definition of a “full-time” workweek.

Relevant Links
Employer Mandate Repeal Articles from Edge and Connecting the Dots

The employee benefits tax, which was passed as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, imposes a 40 percent levy on high-end insurance plans provided by employers to their workers. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, 38 percent of manufacturers will be forced to pay the employee benefits tax, also sometimes referred to as the “Cadillac” tax, when it takes effect in 2018. By 2023 it’s estimated more than three-quarters of manufacturers will be subject to the levy. The tax, which will apply to individual health plans valued at $10,200 annually and family plans worth $27,500, is expected to raise $87 billion in revenue for the federal government over ten years. To contend with the tax increase imposed on them, employers will be forced to reduce employee benefits or increase employee premiums.

Relevant Links
Employee Benefits (“Cadillac”) Tax Repeal Articles from Edge and Connecting the Dots

The Affordable Care Act medical device tax, which is expected to raise $38 billion over 10 years and which the Congressional Research Service called “challenging to justify,” was implemented in 2013. It imposes a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers or importers at the point of sale. While this tax will not directly affect the metals industry, it will stifle health care innovation in the United States and lead to higher health care costs for MSCI companies and their employees.

Relevant Links
Medical Device Tax Repeal Articles from Edge and Connecting the Dots
Health Care Articles from Edge and Connecting the Dots