Members of the House today voted 220-207 for final approval of H.R. 4872, the Reconciliation Act of 2010, which makes changes sought by House Democrats to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
President Obama signed the PPACA bill into law Tuesday, and is expected to sign H.R. 4872 into law in the next few days.
Some states are going to court to try to block implementation of PPACA, and some Republicans say they want to try to pass PPACA repeal legislation.
If PPACA, takes effect as written, it will impose many new requirements on health insurers, such as bans on rescissions and annual benefits caps; require many employers to provide health coverage and most individuals to have health coverage; create a health insurance exchange system that individuals can use to buy subsidized health insurance; set up a new system of nonprofit health cooperatives; and form a voluntary long term care benefits program.
H.R. 4872 would increase the penalty for affected individuals who fail to have the required level of health coverage to $2,000, from $750, to discourage individuals from waiting until they are sick to buy coverage. The bill also would increase the penalty for employers that fail to provide coverage to $2,000, from $750.
PPACA would impose a $2,500 cap on flexible spending account contributions, and H.R. 4872 would push the effective date of the cap to 2013, from 2011.
H.R. 4872 also would raise additional revenue for Medicare by imposing a 3.8% tax on investment income — including annuity income — earned by individuals with “modified adjusted gross” incomes over $200,000 and couples with modified AGIs over $250,000.