A new House bill could provide big tax credits for taxpayers who buy private individual or family health insurance.[@@]
The bill, introduced Wednesday by Reps. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn., would offer individuals who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but have no employer-sponsored coverage up to $1,000 in health insurance premium tax credits.
A married couple could get $2,000 in tax credits for coverage for both spouses, and parents could get additional tax credits of $500 per child for up to 2 children.
The maximum tax credits would be available to individuals with annual incomes under $15,000 and families with annual incomes under $25,000. The credits would phase out completely for individuals with annual incomes over $30,000 and families with annual incomes over $60,000.
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Taxpayers could use the tax credits to cover the cost of up to 90% of their health insurance premiums.
The sponsors acknowledged at a press conference that the crowded House calendar and the upcoming summer break will be obstacles.
“We probably won’t see committee action or floor action on this bill,” Hayworth said.
But encounters with uninsured constituents during the break could give lawmakers an impetus to act on the issue, Hayworth said.