Business Groups Make “Wish List” for Health Care Reform

November 29, 2010 ( – Business groups are hopeful that the results of the recent election will mean an opportunity for improvement in the national health reform law.

In a panel discussion at the National Business Coalition on Health’s 2010 annual conference, Randy Johnson, senior vice president for labor and employee benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber’s top priorities are repealing the 2014 employer mandate to provide coverage or pay a penalty and repealing the 2018 excise tax on high-value (so-called “Cadillac”) health plans.   

According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Johnson also pointed to more targeted initiatives, including: 

  • Repealing the 2011 tax form 1099 requirement for all vendor transactions above $600; 
  • Repealing the 2011 exclusion on purchasing over-the-counter medications using flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts; and 
  • “Possibly” changing the 2012 requirement to report the value of an employee’s health benefits on individual form W-2s. 


SHRM said Maria Ghazal, director of public policy at the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs from large U.S. companies, said its top priorities include: 

  • Passing medical liability reform, including a safe harbor for health care providers following best-practice guidelines. Ghazal called liability reform “an underused piece of limiting health care costs.”; and 
  • Adding incentives for more consumer choice and engagement, “such as with the use of health savings accounts,” and “giving employers the tools to manage their health benefits more effectively.” 


“Maybe now we can have a conversation between the two sides. Maybe one of the positives of the election is that it will result in a better answer from us, the American people,” said Larry Becker, director of strategic partnerships and alliances at Xerox, according to the news report.