“SMALL EMPLOYER.—The term ‘small employer’ means, in connection with a group health plan with respect to a calendar year and a plan year, an employer who employed an average of at least 1 but not more than 100 employees on business days during the preceding calendar year and who employs at least 1 employee on the first day of the plan year.” (from section 2230)Some of this is fascinating to me. Most of it makes me either want to laugh or join a local militia. I'm sure, for example, Congress has good and justifiable reasons to limit age variation premium ratios to 4:1. Same goes for the BMI exceeding 25.
“LIMITED AGE VARIATION PERMITTED.—By age (within the standard age bands established under subsection (c)) so long as the ratio of the highest such premium to the lowest such premium does not exceed the ratio of 4:1.” (from section 2204)
“DOLLAR LIMITATION.—The amount of the tax imposed by this section on any taxpayer for any taxable year with respect to all individuals for whom the taxpayer is liable under subsection (b) (3) shall not exceed an amount equal to twice the applicable dollar amount for the calendar year with or within which the taxable year ends.”
“CHRONIC CONDITION.—The term ‘chronic condition’ has the meaning given that term by the Secretary and shall include, but is not limited to, the following: A) A mental health condition. B) Substance abuse C) Asthma D) Diabetes. E) Heart disease. F) Being overweight, as evidence by having a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25.” (from section 2104)
Of course, someone might argue that, "Well, the number has to be something," and point to statutory issues like the age of consensual sex (Why 18? Why not 16? Or 21?)... the difference here is that this bill is supposed to be calculable, which obviously necessitates having a close estimate as to how many Americans have a BMI over 25. Further, legislation like this cannot possible take into account the fact that some very healthy people have a BMI over 25. Mine's 23.7, for the record, and I exercise 5+ days a week, eat vegetables for dinner every night, and usually don't exceed 2400 calories a day. 5'11", 170lbs. Three pounds heavier than when I graduated high school as a three-sport athlete.
Yes, if we're going to legislate at this level, we need lines in the sand -- but the arbitrariness of it (the numerical definition of "small business," for example) is absurd enough to warrant, at least, a little teasing.
*Note: Yeah, I forgot to source that third one as I was copying it from .pdf file... then I lost it and couldn't find it again. Wishydig, don't even think about asking me to be more careful with my sources. Not this time, buster.