The 1099 repeal amendment that was approved by the Senate Wednesday was a no-brainer. Repeal of the 1099 rule, an onerous administrative burden for small businesses, was the single aspect of health care reform upon which both sides of the aisle agreed. But a bill to repeal heath care reform pushed by Republicans failed in a Senate vote as expected.
Bipartisan unity on 1099 repeal
The 1099 repeal amendment to the health care law passed by an 81-17 vote in the Senate. The 1099 rule was inserted into health care reform to help finance the law by reducing tax evasion. The provision requires businesses to file 1099 forms for any business-to-business expense of more than $600 starting in 2012. Current rules require 1099 forms only for payments over $600 to independent contractors. The 1099 rule was projected to raise $19 billion to help pay for health care reform. The 1099 repeal amendment makes up for that loss by requiring lawmakers to find spending cuts.
Partisan divide on health care repeal
The 1099 repeal was proposed by Democratic senators. The repeal of health care reform was proposed by Republican senators. Both provisions were designed as amendments to a Federal Aviation Administration funding bill. The association with funding required 60 votes for the provisions to be allowed as amendments to the FAA bill. All 47 Republicans voted for the measure. All 50 Democrats present and one independent that caucuses with Democrats voted against it. Senate Republicans can be expected to persist in introducing health care repeal amendments to many bills. Before Wednesday’s Senate vote, two other Republicans introduced an amendment that would allow states to opt out of provisions of the health care law.
Crises push GOP message to the margins
Republicans forced a Senate vote to repeal health care reform shortly after a similar measure passed the Republican-controlled House. Using catch phrases such as “job-killing” and “government-run health care,” Republicans had hoped such grandstanding would embarrass the Obama administration and portray health care reform in a negative light. Unfortunately, the political theater of the House vote to repeal health care reform was overshadowed by the Arizona shooting. Several weeks later, unrest in Egypt diverted attention from the Senate vote. Both crises have given Barack Obama the opportunity to appear presidential and pushed the Republican message to the margins