Revised Health Care Reform Proposal Released by Senate Republicans
By Ben Gann, NLBMDA Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs
Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) released an updated version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (H.R. 1628). The revised proposal comes after Republicans failed to approve health care reform legislation prior to the Independence Day break.
Senate Republicans plan to vote next week on the legislation; however, it does not appear that McConnell has enough votes yet for approval. Passage of health care reform in the Senate remains challenging given the narrow Republican majority and unanimous Democratic opposition. Republicans can only lose two Republicans and still pass the legislation using Vice President Mike Pence as the tie-breaking vote.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate on the budgetary impact of the legislation is expected early next week. The CBO estimated that the earlier Senate proposal would save $321 billion over 10 years but cause 22 million Americans to lose health insurance coverage.
Although the proposal eliminates most of the taxes associated with Affordable Care Act, it does leave two of the taxes in place. Specifically, it retains the 3.8 percent net investment income tax and 0.9 percent Medicare payroll surtax.
NLBMDA has not taken a position on the legislation but does support provisions included in the Better Care Reconciliation Act such as eliminating the cap on flexible spending accounts (FSA) and permanent repeal of the health insurance tax on fully insured health care plans.
If you have any questions regarding the health care reform effort, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.