The House needs to vote on the Senate’s version once more because of legislative rules that bumped three provisions out of the legislation. But it’s expected to sail through the lower chamber once more. Media outlets take a look at how the package, which includes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, will affect the health industry.
The New York Times: Congress Approves Republican Tax Plan Setting Up Delivery To Trump’s Desk
Clearing the final major hurdle for a decades-long goal, Republicans mustered enough support in the Senate to approve a sweeping tax plan. The vote, along party lines, was 51-48. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, was the only one who was not present, as he returned home to receive medical treatment. (12/20)
The Washington Post: GOP Tax Bill’s Passage Slightly Delayed Over Last-Minute Senate Snag
House Republicans thought they had finished their tax work on Tuesday afternoon when they passed a version of the bill 227 to 203. But the effort hit a snag Tuesday afternoon when the Senate parliamentarian ruled that three of its provisions violated that chamber’s Byrd Rule — guidelines on what types of legislation can pass with a simple 50-vote majority. (Stein and Paletta, 12/20)
Bloomberg: Cornyn Says Tax Bill Mandate Repeal Makes Obamacare ‘Unworkable’
The No. 2 Senate Republican said Tuesday that the GOP’s tax bill will make Obamacare “unworkable,” which he hopes will force Democrats into negotiations to replace the law. Asked about the failure of the GOP’s efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, Senator John Cornyn of Texas noted the tax measure will repeal the penalty for not buying health insurance, a central element of the Affordable Care Act. (Dennis, 12/19)
The Wall Street Journal: How The Tax Plan Affects Business: Everything You Need To Know
Health insurers, an overwhelmingly domestic industry, will reap enormous benefits from the tax bill’s sharp cut to the corporate rate. Analysts project that the companies initially could see sharp increases in earnings—perhaps in the 15% to 20% range, said Ana Gupte of Leerink Partners LLC. “It’s huge,” she said. She suggested that insurers are likely to find a variety of outlets for the additional cash, including share repurchases, dividends, investing to grow their businesses and merger activity, which would come on top of a fast pace of managed-care deals already under way. (Wilde Mathews, 12/19)
Modern Healthcare: House Republicans Pass Tax Cut Bill
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could dramatically alter the healthcare landscape by repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate starting in 2019. It also could result in tighter access to capital and greater margin pressure for not-for-profit health systems. Experts caution that the legislation will have big downstream effects on funding for Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act subsidies and other federal and state healthcare programs. That’s because the projected $1.5 trillion increase in the federal budget deficit resulting from the tax cuts would put pressure on Congress to slash healthcare spending. (Meyer, 12/19)
Politico: The Stealth Repeal Of Obamacare
Obamacare survived the first year of President Donald Trump, but it’s badly damaged. The sweeping Republican tax bill on the verge of final passage would repeal the individual mandate in 2019, potentially taking millions of people out of the health insurance market. On top of that, the Trump administration has killed some subsidies, halved the insurance enrollment period, gutted the Obamacare marketing campaign, and rolled out a regulatory red carpet for skimpy new health plans that will change the insurance landscape in ways that are harmful to former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
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