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Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandNovember 17, 20172min434
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report Friday that looked at which states would be hardest hit if the United States withdraws from the three-nation North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Chamber has focused most on the hit to American agriculture, should President Trump follow through on his threat to renegotiate or even withdraw from the […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 3, 20173min760

A tax on insurers based on their size, a provision of the Affordable Care Act, is set to take effect Jan. 1, but the Colorado Business Roundtable and the Colorado Farm Bureau want to talk about how much of that will be passed on to small businesses, farmers and ranchers in higher premiums.

They are putting on a meeting on the subject Monday at 9 a.m. with the Stop The HIT Coalition  at the Farm Bureau office at 9177 East Mineral Circle in Centennial, if you’re interested.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is among the tax’s biggest opponents. He has a bill, the Healthcare Tax Relief Act, to delay adding the tax on insurers again. It took effect in 2014 but was suspended by Congress in 2015.

The failure of legislative efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare last summer has opponents hustling to head off the tax with another postponement, a banner Gardner is carrying.

“Pretty simple — business gets fee, fee gets passed on,” Gardner said on the Senate floor last week. “As is the case with most excise taxes, if this tax takes effect, costs will be passed to consumers in the form of higher premiums as confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office.”

Gardner cited an economic who estimated premiums could rise by 3 percent in each the next three years because of the tax.

The Stop The HIT Coalition was founded to fight the levy in 2011 by Tim Cuff of the National Federation of Independent Business, and the NFIB, the Farm Bureau, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are among the 39 business groups make up its membership.

As Republicans search for ways to pay for other tax cuts — and President Trump’s border wall — the health insurance tax repeal has not been gained traction, however

The Washington Post reported about the difficulty Paul Ryan had with it in August:

Ryan’s reluctance may be related to making Congress’s tax-math work. The health-insurance tax is estimated to raise $145 billion over a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That revenue loss would further complicate efforts to keep any tax changes from adding to the long-term federal deficit. Republican leaders need to achieve that goal in order to use a budget procedure that allows them to bypass Democratic opposition in the Senate.

“If you’re going to cut the corporate tax rate, somebody’s got to pay for it,” said Don Williamson, the executive director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJune 21, 20172min371

Ken Buck and talk radio go together like peanut butter and jelly. And just about anytime the conservative Republican U.S. rep from Colorado’s 4th Congressional District turns up on the airwaves, it’s also likely to turn up on the radar of left-ish media watchdog and political blogger Jason Salzman.

That’s how we learned of a shot Buck took at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — theoretically, a redoubt of pro-business Republicans like the congressman — in an interview on Denver’s KNUS 710-AM radio the other day. Salzman, writing for Colorado Pols about “(t)he schism between business groups and some members of the Republican Party in Colorado,” recaps Buck’s on-air remarks while he was promoting his new book, “Drain the Swamp,” to radio host Chuck Bonniwell:

“They are one of the big problems in Washington DC,” replied Buck. “They affirmatively go after conservatives. Tim Huelskamp lost his seat in the western district of Kansas because of the U.S. Chamber targeting Tim as a conservative, and defeating him. They play, and they play very hard. We have some groups on the right, like Club for Growth, that also target folks. But, you know, the Chamber is a corporate cronyist organization that promotes corporate interests at the expense of conservative values. There are a lot of stories to tell about the swamp, and if I didn’t mention the Chamber, they certainly deserve to be mentioned.”