“This law is the first time the federal government has required individuals to purchase something simply because they are alive. If Congress can regulate this type of inactivity, then there are essentially no limits to what they can mandate individuals to do,” Dan Danner, NFIB’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
The requirement, known as the individual mandate, will come into affect in 2014 and those who refuse to buy insurance coverage will face a fine. Exceptions will be made for those in poverty and for those opting out due to religious reasons.
The business group also does not like many other provisions in the bill, such as its tax on high-cost insurance plans as well as its small business tax credits, which they believe are unaffordable.
The Chamber and NAM both supported ads against the bill and lobbied against it on Capitol Hill. And while both groups are unhappy with the new law, they have not taken the extra step like NFIB of challenging the bill in court.
Instead, they are pursuing an aggressive strategy of battling the regulations, being worked on and implemented by the Obama administration right now, that were proposed by the bill.
For example, the Chamber filed comments Friday with the Health and Human Services Department that takes issue with a rule working out the percentage of premiums that insurers must spend on care.
This follows a strategy first laid out by the Chamber soon after the healthcare refom bill passed. In a March 29 letter to the business association’s board of directors, Tom Donohue, the Chamber’s president and CEO, said the group would battle the new law on the regulatory front.
“We will be submitting comments, proposing language, and seeking changes in an effort to minimize the potentially harmful impacts of this bill on our members and the country,” Donohue said in the letter. “Regulatory clarity, transparency, and common sense are absolutely critical.”