CCH Tax Day Report
President Trump said in an April 2 tweet that discussions concerning the repeal and replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111 -148) are occurring and will continue until a “deal is struck” (TAXDAY, 2017/03/27, C.1). “Anyone who thinks that Repeal and Replace of (ACA) is dead does not know the love and strength in Republican party,” Trump said in another tweet the same day.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on April 3 told reporters that Trump continues to have conversations with lawmakers who reach out with ideas for health care replacement ideas.” I think the president has made clear that he intends to work with anyone who wants to help him get to the number of votes. He obviously had a very productive discussion this weekend with Sen. Rand Paul. R-Ky.,” Spicer said.
Speaking to reporters earlier on April 3, Paul said that he pitched his idea to Trump last week to leave the ACA subsidy structure in place while rolling back the dollar amount. According to Paul, this idea could help urge more conservative Republicans to back the idea because it would not be creating a new tax credit entitlement.
The White House, however, is still trying to make the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) work, Paul said. After speaking with reporters, Paul met with the House Freedom Caucus, a member base that was prepared to vote against the bill before it was pulled from a scheduled vote on the House floor.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., told reporters on April 3 that the process moving forward should not be rushed. “Rather than pushing a date that this needs to be done, let the conversations continue regardless of the weeks or months that it takes for them to get comfortable with a “yes” on health care reforms. Let the conversations continue, don’t set a deadline—would be my advice to our members,” Brady said.
Meanwhile, Democrats remain critical of the GOP’s first attempt at health care reform legislation, noting the party’s internal discord. Additionally, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has said he will soon introduce his own health care legislation in acknowledgment that the ACA has “serious problems.” He has said that he is “going to introduce a Medicare-for-all single-payer program.”
By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff