Senate Republicans are adding an Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate repeal provision to their version of the big tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill, Republican senators said today in Washington.
Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee, the committee now marking up the bill, looked at articles about the coming rewrite of the bill on their cell phones today at the markup. They repeatedly asked Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the chairman of the committee, whether news reports about the rewrite were true.
Hatch declined to say what will be in the rewrite, and he said discussions about ACA mandate repeal were a distraction from the committee’s work.
“We’re still working to finalize the details of the modification,” Hatch said.
Hatch said drafters will release the modification “later today.”
Sen. Ron Wyden, R-Ore., the highest ranking Democrat on the committee, asked Hatch whether “later today” meant 10 p.m., midnight or some other time.
“You’ll have it later today,” Hatch said. “Whenever we can get it done.”
Hatch said that members of the committee would have to time review the modification, and that the committee will begin considering the modification at 9 a.m. EST tomorrow.
The committee began marking up the tax bill Monday and continued to mark it up today. The committee has been streaming live video of the markups from its website.
A video recording of the second of the markup is available here
A link to the live video stream for tomorrow’s session is available here.
The ACA individual mandate requires many people to have what the government classifies as solid major medical coverage throughout much of the year or else pay a penalty. For the people who pay the penalty, the penalty for 2017 will amount to 2.5% of “modified adjusted gross income” over the tax filing threshold.
Sen. Ron Wyden, R-Ore. (Photo: AP)