Please help ACA to insure that Americans overseas are not unfairly taxed to support Health Care reform
ACA is requesting that all members and supports email, fax and/or write their Senators in support of a change in legislative language to the bill "Americas Health Future Act of 2009" authored by Senator Max Baucus In the September 16th version of this bill there is wording which would cause great hardship on American citizens living outside the US. The wording would leave Americans overseas exposed to paying an excise tax regardless of whether they carry health insurance via overseas health providers. The purpose of the proposed excise tax is to encourage all Americans who benefit from the US health program to participate in its financing. Americans residing overseas can not benefit from the US health system so for them the excise tax is just that -- a tax with no counter-part service. Currently the maximum excise tax per family for non-participation is $1,900.
Please help ACA to insure that Americans overseas are not unfairly taxed. Help ACA to bring this matter to the attention of the decision makers in Washington DC by writing to your representative today. Attached is a sample letter that you can use to write to your Senator. We strongly suggest that you fax your letters as this has the most immediate effect however, you may also email or hard copy mail. Visit the following websites for address information on your representative.
American Citizens Abroad (ACA)
The Voice of Americans Overseas
5 Rue Liotard
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
American Citizens Abroad (ACA), the voice of Americans overseas, is a non-profit, non-partisan, all-volunteer organization that represents the interests of Americans living and working outside the U.S. to the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Federal Judiciary to insure that Americans overseas are treated with equality and fairness. ACA keeps Americans overseas informed and supports their role as informal representatives of the United States. To learn more about ACA please visit our website, www.americansabroad.org
Disclaimer: While ACA and its board members make every effort to be
accurate in the information they transmit, such information is not to
be considered a substitute for specific and qualified professional
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
September , 2009
RE: America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009
As one of your constituents who resides outside of the United States, I write you as my Senator to request that you alert Senator Baucus and the drafters of “America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009” concerning the urgent need for greater precision in the definition of those covered by the proposed legislation. In the version as released on September 16, 2009, there is wording which would inadvertently cause great hardship on American citizens living outside the United States. We hasten to bring this to your attention, so that it can be corrected early in the legislative process.
Overseas Americas should be exempted from the requirement to participate in the U.S. health plan and as a consequence, they should also be excluded to any right to claim a tax credit available for low income families in the United States under this health legislation.
Under Title 1, Subtitle D, “Shared Responsibility”, the Personal Responsibility Requirement currently states on page 28 that “Beginning in 2013, all U.S. citizens and legal residents” would be required to purchase coverage of one of the specified types of insurance coverage. This broad reference clearly includes U.S. citizens residing overseas. Yet citizens who are bona fide residents in foreign countries have health coverage plans valid in the country where they reside. If they subscribe to the U.S.-specific insurance outlined in the program – which they do not need and cannot use – they will be paying twice for health insurance. If they do not participate in the U.S. program, they will be subject to an excise tax to be levied on their IRS returns as defined in the bill on page 29.
The purpose of the excise tax is to encourage all Americans who benefit from the U.S. health program to participate in its financing. Americans residing overseas can not benefit from the U.S. health system so for them the excise tax is just that – a tax with no counter-part service. As per the September 22nd press release concerning the chairman’s markup, the maximum excise tax per family for non-participation, is $1,900, not a negligible amount.
A modest alteration in the present formulation would correct the legislation. Following is a suggested addition. :
“All U.S. citizens who meet the requirements of Sec. 911(d) (1)(A) or (B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, without regard to the tax home requirement in Sec. 911(d)(1), are exempt from any mandate to purchase insurance in the United States and are not subject to the excise tax for non-participation in a U.S. health insurance plan.”
This modification would align the Senate bill to the "America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009" (H.R. 3200) presented in the House of Representatives, which specifically exempts overseas Americans from a tax on not subscribing to a U.S. domestic health plan under Section 401 of the Act (which adds Section 59B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986). America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 states under
Part VIII – HEALTH RELATED TAXES
Subpart A -Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable Health Care Coverage
Section 59.B “Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable Health Coverage
(3) INDIVIDUALS RESIDING OUTSIDE UNITED STATES
Any qualified individual (as defined in section 911(d)) (and any qualifying child residing with such individual) shall be treated for purposes of this section as covered by acceptable coverage during the period described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 911(d)(1), whichever is applicable.
I thank you most sincerely for your attention to this important issue and trust that you will do all necessary to bring about the change in the text of the proposed legislation.
ContactAmerican Children Abroad
Ben and Helena Henderson
Prague, Czech Republic
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