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Tax Bill

  • U.S. Senate Tax Bill Accomplishes Major Obamacare Repeal Goal Reuters by Yasmeen Abutaleb — The sweeping tax overhaul that passed the U.S. Senate on Saturday contains the Republicans’ biggest blow yet to former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, repealing the requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance. The individual mandate is meant to ensure a viable health insurance market by forcing younger and healthier Americans to buy coverage to help offset the cost of sicker patients. It helps uphold the most popular provision of the law, which requires insurers charge sick and healthy people the same rates. Removing it while keeping the rest of Obama’s Affordable Care Act intact is expected to cause insurance premiums to rise and lead to millions of people losing coverage, policy experts say. “It’s going to take a bunch of healthy people out of the insurance market,” said Craig Garthwaite, director of the healthcare program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Obamacare “is going to collapse even more now,” he said.

  • Senate’s Huge Tax Bill Would Have Potent Ripple Effects for Health-Care System Washington Post by Amy Goldstein — The Republican tax overhaul that squeaked through the Senate early Saturday morning would reach deep into the nation’s health-care system, with a clear dagger to a core aspect of the Affordable Care Act and broader ripple effects that could threaten other programs over time. The measure would abolish the government’s enforcement of the ACA requirement that most Americans carry insurance coverage. It would not end the individual mandate itself but would eliminate tax penalties for flouting that requirement. The result could cause an extra 13 million people to become uninsured and drive up insurance premiums in marketplaces created under the law, according to an estimate by Congress’s nonpartisan budget analysts. Yet downstream effects of the bill that have drawn less attention could potentially damage the health care and well-being of far more people. The Senate plan would increase the federal deficit starting in the current fiscal year and — unless lawmakers intervene — would unleash a budgetary sequence of events cutting billions of dollars from Medicare and public health services. The reductions would flow from a “pay as you go” law that basically requires offsets to increases in federal spending.

  • The Senate's Tax Bill Is a Sweeping Change to Every Part of Federal Health Care Vox by Sarah Kliff — The Senate tax bill is really a health care bill with major implications for more than 100 million Americans who rely on the federal government for their health insurance. The bill reaches into every major American health care program: Medicaid, Medicare, and the Obamacare marketplaces. These are expected outcomes based on two significant policy changes in the bill. First, the bill repeals the individual mandate, a key piece of Obamacare that requires most Americans get covered. Economists expect its elimination to reduce enrollment in both the Affordable Care Act's private marketplaces and Medicaid by millions. The money saved will be pumped into tax cuts for the very wealthy. The bill also includes tax cuts so large that they would trigger across-the-board spending cuts — including billions for Medicare. The last time Medicare was hit with cuts like this, patients lost access to critical services like chemotherapy treatment. This tax bill deserves a broader name. Its policies will cause millions of vulnerable Americans to lose coverage, disrupt care for the elderly, and potentially change the health care system in other ways we can't fully predict.

Publication Details

Publication Date: December 4, 2017