For over 50 years, Bloomberg Tax’s renowned flagship daily news service, Daily Tax Report® has helped leading practitioners and policymakers stay on the cutting edge of taxation and...
House Republicans will hold a special conference meeting on Feb. 16 to dig further into details of a plan to repeal the ACA, including a promise to offer relief from the law’s tax provisions.
The meeting will center on “further educating members of the conference on what the options are and what some of the principles are that will be built into a Republican bill,” Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) told reporters Feb. 14. Sanford on Feb. 15 will likely unveil a House companion to Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) ACA replacement bill (S. 222).
Lawmakers are also meeting this week to hash out specific elements of the Affordable Care Act: Medicaid, tax credits and health savings accounts, and high-risk pools.
Republican lawmakers have prioritized repealing and replacing the ACA in the early part of this congressional session, though the road to repeal has been rocky, as lawmakers failed to reach an early consensus on how to handle the law’s tax provisions and waited for guidance from Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who the Senate approved to be Health and Human Services secretary on Feb. 10.
“We’re working on solutions that will provide relief to hardworking families that have been damaged by the Obamacare taxes, the penalties and the mandates,” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said during a Feb. 14 news conference. The committee has vowed to “deliver relief” from the law’s myriad tax provisions in the coming days and weeks, according to a Feb. 14 statement.
If all ACA taxes are repealed initially, the law’s replacement will be “substantially less than what we have now,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said Feb. 14. Cassidy kept the taxes in place in his replacement bill, which he introduced in late January. The law’s penalties will likely be scrapped in the first reconciliation bill, and others—such as the health insurance fee or the tax on medical devices—could be addressed as part of a second reconciliation bill or as part of tax overhaul legislation that Republican leaders are planning to act on later in the year, Cassidy said.
The House Freedom Caucus was to vote late Feb. 14 on which replacement bill to formally support after not reaching a decision Feb. 13, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the caucus chairman, told reporters. Meadows began canvassing members last week to see if there was an 80 percent majority opinion on one plan that has already been released, such as the Paul bill or another from Cassidy and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
Freedom Caucus members can split from the caucus on two votes each congressional session, Meadows said. The caucus unanimously voted Feb. 13 not to support any repeal effort that doesn’t go as far as the 2015 bill that was passed but vetoed by former President Barack Obama.
But as House leaders push for consensus this time around, Meadows predicted one hiccup: there aren’t enough votes to pass refundable tax credits.
Refundable tax credits are incorporated in the House GOP tax overhaul blueprint that the leadership released in June. The credits can reduce an individual’s tax debt below zero, allowing for a tax refund. Individuals would need to present a Social Security number to claim the refundable portion of the child tax credit, an effort to avoid fraud, according to the blueprint.
Some Republican lawmakers offered words of caution as pressure builds for the release of a detailed repeal and replacement plan.
The law must be repealed and replaced, but lawmakers must “do it in a fair and reasonable way without bringing the plane down right away,” Rep. James B. Renacci (R-Ohio), a member of Ways and Means, told Bloomberg BNA. The ACA has been in place for several years and it may take a few years for a new plan to be implemented, he said.
The Freedom Caucus has called for a replacement bill at the same time as a repeal effort, something President Donald Trump has also sought.
While lawmakers still are planning to repeal all of the law’s taxes, “to demand that we take everything all at one time is not realistic,” Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), another Ways and Means member, told Bloomberg BNA.
“We need to repeal and replace, but we have to do it in a way that’s the least disruptive,” he said.
With assistance from Sara Hansard in Washington.
To contact the reporter on this story: Colleen Murphy in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Meg Shreve at email@example.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)