U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) on May 24 introduced the bipartisan Health Insurance Premium Reduction Act, H.R. 5963, to delay the required annual fee health insurance providers would have to start paying this year until after 2020.

H.R. 5963 would delay by two years the annual fee, or health insurance tax (HIT), imposed under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Joining Rep. Noem in introducing H.R. 5963 were cosponsors U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Ami Bera (D-CA).

“When it comes to health insurance under Obamacare, small businesses, which employ around 60 percent of South Dakotans, are taxed if they do and taxed if they don’t. For this reason and more, Obamacare is a failed system that must be repealed,” said Rep. Noem, who has voted more than 50 times during her congressional tenure to revoke Obamacare, in part or in whole.

“Until a comprehensive repeal bill can be put on President Trump’s desk, however, I will fight to minimize the financial strain on South Dakota job creators,” she said. “This legislation lifts a significant burden, saving consumers hundreds of dollars annually.”

The HIT is a direct tax on health insurance providers for the services they provide; the tax gets passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Rep. Noem successfully delayed the HIT in 2019 through legislative language she wrote that President Donald Trump signed last year, according to her staff.

Additionally, Rep. Noem’s staff said, the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation has found that between 152,000 and 286,000 jobs will be gone by 2023 due to the HIT, with 57 percent being slashed from small businesses across the country.

H.R. 5963 has been referred to both the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration.

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