Politics

Attempt to repeal part of health care law fails in Senate

Chris Moody Contributor
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So soon after the health care law was passed, some senators are already trying to amend it.

The Senate voted down amendments Tuesday intended to change a provision within the Democrats’ health care law that forces companies to report purchases from vendors that amount to more than $600 annually, a measure that critics said would create added financial and time burdens for American businesses.

Buried in the health care law passed in March is a requirement for all companies, large and small, to file a 1099 tax form any time it makes a business-to-business transaction of more than $600. For example, if a family business buys a computer at a price that crosses the limit, the family will be required to track down the company that sold the computer and submit a 1099 form to that company and the IRS. Likewise, truck drivers must submit forms to gas stations, and charities will have to report to the government who sold them office supplies and other goods. (The provision, which goes into effect in 2012, affects all organization, including churches, charities and non-profits.)

Two plans for reform were proposed. Nebraska Republican Sen. Mike Johanns submitted an amendment to completely strip the 1099 requirement from the health care law. Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson amended the provision to apply only to businesses with more than 25 employees and lifts the threshold from $600 to $5,000, a plan the White House supports. The amendments would have been part of the Small Business Lending Bill, but neither reached the 60-vote threshold.

Although the amendments failed, the Senate voted to end debate on the small business bill, which offers $12 billion in tax breaks and makes it easier for businesses to gain access to credit.

A final vote on the bill is expected later this week.

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Chris Moody