Democratic and Republican lawmakers are gearing up for a fight over a bill that would repeal health care reform and the tax credits associated with the law.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., posted the text of the bill on Monday, and it is expected to come up for a vote on January 12. The bill is known as “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.”
Two of the leading Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee — outgoing chair Sander Levin, D-Mich., and the outgoing chair of the Health Subcommittee, Pete Stark, D-Calif., criticized the Republican plan on Tuesday and challenged Republican colleagues to give up their own government-funded health insurance.
“As new Republican members of Congress sign up for their own taxpayer-funded health care insurance, they are rushing to jeopardize health care for millions of Americans,” said Levin in a statement. “Without one single hearing, they are turning the clock back on our health care system and turning their back on Americans already benefitting from reform.”
Stark labeled the Republican proposal a “NoCare plan” that “would raise the number of uninsured by 32 million, balloon the deficit, raise health care costs for seniors, and raise taxes on small businesses that provide health care for their employees.”
“No wonder they want to skirt their own rules to jam this bill through," he added, referring to the exception the Republicans have made for the health care repeal in their proposed “cut-go” rules for offsetting all spending increases with spending cuts, but not tax increases (see GOP Changes House Rules on Tax laws and Accounting Gimmicks).
Democratic lawmakers argued that the Republican repeal plan would jeopardize health coverage for all Americans, end tax credits to help people afford health coverage, and eliminate the small-business tax credit.
The bill, they claimed, would also allow insurers to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, women, and older individuals; re-open the Medicare Part D “donut hole;” reduce Medicare's solvency by 12 years; “gut” programs to fight Medicare fraud, waste and abuse; make more Americans face medical bankruptcy; and “kick people out” of new pre-existing condition insurance plans.
The Democratic leaders of three key committees — Levin, along with Henry Waxman, D-Calif., of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and George Miller, D-Calif., of the Education and Labor Committee — sent a letter to the three incoming Republican chairmen of their committees -- Dave Camp, R-Mich., who will be chairing Ways and Means; Fred Upton., R-Mich., of the Energy and Commerce Committee; and John Kline, R-Minn., of the Education and Labor Committee – to protest the move.
“We write to object to the apparent decision of the House Republican leadership to bring to the floor next week legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” they wrote. “Republicans won control of the House in the November elections promising to bring greater transparency in government and more fiscal responsibility. It is insincere to run on a platform of openness and fiscal discipline, and then in one of your first acts as the majority party bring major legislation to the floor without any public hearings and without paying for the trillion-dollar cost of repeal.”
The effort to repeal health care reform is largely symbolic, as Democrats still hold a majority in the Senate, and President Obama is certain to veto any bill that would repeal the signature piece of legislation of his administration last year. However, Republicans believe that some Democrats will support the repeal effort.
“As part of our pledge, we said that we would bring up a vote to repeal health care early,” Upton said on Fox News Sunday. “That will happen before the President's State of the Union Address. We have 242 Republicans. There will be a significant number of Democrats, I think, that will join us. You will remember when that vote passed in the House last March, it only passed by seven votes. ... Unpopularity numbers are as high as 60 percent across the country. I don’t think we're going to be that far off from having the votes to actually override a veto.”
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers tried several times last year to repeal a controversial provision in the health care reform bill that required businesses to report on a Form 1099-MISC purchases of more than $600 worth of goods and services from any vendor, starting in 2013. However, the two sides have not yet agreed on how to pay for the repeal, and none of the various amendments and bills introduced to repeal the expanded 1099 requirements have been approved so far.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access