[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[April 11, 1995]
[Pages 521-522]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing Self-Employed Health Insurance Legislation
April 11, 1995

    Today I have signed into law H.R. 831, the ``Self-Employed Health 
Insurance Act,'' that extends permanently the tax deductibility of 
health insurance premiums for the self-employed and their dependents.
    The Tax Reform Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-514) provided a 25 percent 
tax deduction for health insurance premiums for the self-employed and 
their dependents. However, this deduction expired on December 31, 1993. 
This Act reinstates the 25 percent tax deduction for health insurance 
premiums for 1994 and permanently increases that deduction to 30 percent 
beginning in 1995.
    I strongly support the permanent extension of this deduction. This 
Act will permit 3.2 million self-employed individuals to claim this 
deduction for health insurance premiums on their income tax returns, 
beginning with returns filed for 1994. By making this deduction 
permanent, we are treating the self-employed more like other employers--
as they should be.
    The increase in the deduction to 30 percent is a step in the right 
direction. In 1993, in the Health Security Act, I proposed an increase 
in the deduction to 100 percent. Increasing the amount of the deduction 
will make health insurance more affordable for self-employed small 
business people who are today paying some of the highest insurance 
premiums in the Nation.
    In approving H.R. 831, however, I must note my regret that the bill 
contains a provision that repeals, as of January 17, 1995, the current 
tax treatment for the sale or exchange of radio and television broadcast 
facilities and cable television systems to minority-owned businesses 
(so-called ``section 1071 benefits'').
    My Administration has undertaken a comprehensive review of 
affirmative action programs, including certain aspects of the section 
1071 benefits. The Act has unfortunately preempted the Administration's 
ability to examine section 1071 in the context of this comprehensive 
    I am also concerned that, in repealing section 1071 benefits, a 
highly objectionable provision was added to H.R. 831 in conference. This 
provision will permit certain pending applicants to receive section 1071 
benefits, while denying them to other pending applicants. This is a 
perfect example of where a President could use line-item veto authority 
to weed out objectionable special interest provisions. I urge the 
Congress to appoint conferees and move forward expeditiously with line-
item veto legislation that provides authority--this year--to eliminate 
special interest tax and spending provisions.
    Finally, I regret that the conferees on the part of the House of 
Representatives objected to including in H.R. 831 a provision that would 
have closed a tax loophole for the wealthy. This provision, which was in 
the Senate-passed version of the bill, closely resembled a provision I 
proposed in my FY 1996 Budget. The provision would have prevented 
wealthy Americans from avoiding their U.S. tax obligations by renouncing 
their citizenship.
    Despite these concerns, I am signing H.R. 831 because of the very 
important benefits this

[[Page 522]]

legislation will provide to our Nation's self-employed and their 

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

April 11, 1995.

Note: H.R. 831, approved April 11, was assigned Public Law No. 104-7.