The Senate Finance Committee has unveiled a package of proposed tax bill amendments that could set the Affordable Care Act individual coverage mandate penalty at zero.
The package also includes a provision that could create a tax credit for employers that offer paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.
The package does not appear to include any changes to the life insurance provisions in the tax bill — the Senate’s version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill.
The committee has described the packet as a “modification to the chairman’s mark,” or draft, of the tax bill.
Senate Republicans posted the original draft of the bill Friday, and members of the Senate Finance Committee started marking the bill up Monday. The committee continued the markup today, and it’s preparing to start a third day of debate at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
The committee has been streaming video of the markups live on the web.
The committee has posted copies of the amendment packet and related documents here. The committee will put the video feed for tomorrow’s meeting on that same website. (Update (11:30 a.m. EST Wednesday): The committee turned on the markup meeting video feed about 10 a.m. today.)
The Bill History
The House Ways and Means Committee has already approved a House version of the tax bill, H.R. 1, and the House Rules Committee started packaging the bill for House floor action today.
H.R. 1 does not include an ACA individual health mandate provision, but House Rules Republicans have proposed at least two amendments that could nullify the effect of the penalty.
The House bill and the current version of the Senate bill do not include ACA individual mandate provisions, in part because some lawmakers have argued that mixing health policy with tax reform would make a complicated, controversial bill even more complicated and more controversial.
Analysts at the Congressional Budget Office have predicted that eliminating the provision could lead to a net gain of more than $300 billion for the federal government, in part by reducing the number of people who use federal subsidies to pay for health coverage.
On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted a request for Congress to add an individual mandate repeal provision to the tax bill.
Insurance and Benefits Provisions