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House Delays Medicare Tax Repeal on Wealthy in AHCA Bill

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The version of the American Health Care Act bill that passed in the House last week would keep the additional Medicare tax, or Medicare surtax, in place until the 2023 tax year., the official congressional legislative information service, made that detail clear when it posted a copy of the official, “engrossed” version of H.R. 1628, the AHCA bill.

(Related: Senate Affordable Care Act Replacers May Tap Medicare Surtax and Net Investment Tax)

House members voted 217-213 to approve the bill May 4. When the House passed the bill, the House had not posted a complete text of the bill online. In the evening on May 5, a complete copy of the engrossed text was still not available.

A version of the bill available on the House floor documents website showed that the bill would repeal the Medicare surtax starting in the 2018 tax year.

The Federation of American Scientists has posted a copy of a Congressional Research Service report, dated May 4, confirming that the engrossed version of H.R. 1628 would repeal the Medicare surtax starting with the 2023 tax year.

(Related: CBO Sets Time to Release AHCA’s Cost Estimates)

Republicans in the House developed H.R. 1628 to eliminate Affordable Care Act taxes and coverage mandates, and to replace the income-based ACA premium tax credit with an age-based tax credit.

The Senate now has jurisdiction over the bill. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has said he believes the Senate will draft its own ACA change bill from scratch.

The ACA Medicare surtax affects taxpayers who have wages, similar types of compensation and self-employment over a threshold amount. The threshold amount is $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. Affected taxpayers must pay a 0.9% surtax on any wages they earn over the threshold amount.

Analysts at the Congressional Budget Office, an arm of Congress, estimated on March 13 that Medicare surtax repeal could increase the federal budget deficit by $117 billion over the period from 2017 through 2026. CBO analysts estimated in a follow-up report, released on March 23, that surtax repeal could cost the government $127 billion in revenue.

The CBO has said it hopes to release an analysis of the new, engrossed version of H.R. 1628 early in the work week starting May 22.

— Read  4 ACA Change Paths That Just Got More Popular on ThinkAdvisor.


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