President Trump is continuing his effort to bring Republican senators together on the repeal and replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) and related taxes. Intraparty division on health care has stalled GOP efforts to repeal and replace the law. GOP senators met with Trump over lunch at the White House on July 19 to discuss the partial-ACA repeal vote scheduled for some time during the week of July 24 (TAXDAY, 2017/07/19, C.3).
“We have to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Trump told the senators. “We can repeal it, but the best is repeal and replace; let’s get going.”
According to Trump, the Senate should not leave Washington without passing an ACA repeal and replacement measure. “My message today is really simple: We have to stay here… we shouldn’t leave town until this is complete, until this bill is on my desk, and until we all go over to the Oval Office,” Trump said during the meeting.
Trump discussed the tax implications of what he hopes to achieve with the Senate ACA repeal and replacement legislation. Among other things, the measure would “repeal burdensome taxes,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., assured reporters at the White House on July 19 that there will be a vote on the motion to proceed on the repeal bill next week. The procedural motion essentially allows the bill to come to the floor for debate and opens the amendment process.
“What I want to disabuse any of you of is the notion that we will not have that vote on the motion to proceed next week,” McConnell said.” No harm is done by getting on the bill.”
According to McConnell, the White House and Senate Republicans all agree that it is better to repeal and replace, than to repeal the health care law only. “We could have a vote on either,” McConnell previewed. Currently, three Senate Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Me., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alas., have announced their intent to vote no on the motion to proceed.
Democrats have remained united in their opposition against the repeal of the ACA (TAXDAY, 2017/07/17, C.1). Democratic senators are asking Republicans to work with them across the aisle in fixing the ACA, subject to the condition that repeal is taken off of the table.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the evening of July 19 released its cost estimate of the legislation McConnell expects to bring to the floor next week, the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017. According to the CBO’S analysis with the Joint Committee on Taxation, the partial repeal legislation would decrease federal deficits by $473 billion over the 2017-2026 period.
The CBO also estimates that the proposal will result in the number of people who are uninsured to increase to 32 million by 2026. Additionally, by 2026, the CBO forecasts that the bill would cause premiums to double for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers.
By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff
CBO Cost Estimate of HR 1628, Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017, an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute
JCT Estimated Revenue Effects of the Tax Provisions Contained in the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017, a Possible Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to HR 1628, JCX-38-17