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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, November 07, 2017 1:00 am

Insurance mandate remains in GOP bill

Washington Post

WASHINGTON – House Republicans on Monday again rejected President Donald Trump's push to use their tax bill to repeal a critical piece of the Affordable Care Act, instead making only modest changes to their legislation as they attempt to move it closer to a vote on the House floor.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, offered an amendment that would tweak the way the bill would tax the earnings of investment managers, cross-border transactions by multinational corporations and the endowments of private universities.

The amendment did not make other, more costly changes to business taxation or repeal the Affordable Care Act's insurance mandate, which requires most Americans to obtain some form of health insurance.

Brady said at a Ways and Means markup session Monday that “we are not including various health-tax related measures as part of our tax reform efforts,” though he did not specifically rule out repealing the ACA's individual mandate.

“We will move to these important policies separately and immediately after conclusion of our tax reform efforts,” Brady said, referring to bipartisan efforts to repeal ACA taxes on medical devices, over-the-counter drugs and health insurance premiums.

Trump had personally pushed Brady to include the mandate repeal, a change nonpartisan analysts say would save the government more than $400 billion over a decade but would also leave 15 million more Americans without health insurance. The plan would give Republicans more flexibility in crafting their bill, but it would complicate the bill's already difficult path through the Senate.