A critical bill that could keep the federal government running until Feb. 16 could also cut health insurers’ and employer health plans’ taxes by a total of about $29 billion over 10 years.
Lawmakers in the House have included the tax provisions in the “Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018″ (ECAA) bill.
If President Donald Trump fails to sign the ECAA bill, or another appropriations extension bill, into law quickly, the federal government could begin a partial shutdown at midnight on Friday.
The anti-shutdown bill does not include any provisions that Republican congressional leaders regard as controversial, such as a permanent repeal of any part of the Affordable Care Act.
In addition to providing permission for the federal government to spend money from midnight Friday through Feb. 16, the bill would provide six years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Drafters have also added three tax provisions near the end of the ECAA bill, in Divison D.
The provisions would postpone the effective date of two Affordable Care Act taxes for two years and one for one year.
House leaders are hoping to rush the bill onto the House floor Thursday.
Here are three things for agents, brokers and others in the health insurance and health benefits communities to know about the bill.
(Photo: Dorling Kindersley/Thinkstock)
1. The bill is hard to find.
For procedural reasons, House leaders have packaged the text of House Joint Resolution 125 inside H.R. 195.
H.R. 195 is a bill that originally was supposed to keep anyone other than members of Congress, and other offices and employees of the United States, from getting copies of the Federal Register for free.
The bill is described as a Senate amendment to the text of H.R. 195.
A copy of the ECAA spending bill is available here.
The House Rules Committee — a House panel that gets legislation ready for floor action — held a meeting on H.J. Res. 125 Wednesday. The committee posted links to a collection of bill information sources here.
The site includes a link to another copy of the bill, a summary of the bill, and a video of the House Rules meeting on the bill.