(The original version of tis article has been updated to reflect the signing of the bill.)
The new “Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018″ (ECAA) will also:
Give the federal government official permission to spend money, and continue with normal operations, until Feb. 8.
Extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years.
Push the scheduled start date of the ACA Cadillac plan tax, or 40% excise tax on high-cost employee health benefits packages, back to 2022, from 2020.
Suspend collection of the ACA medical device tax for two years.
Congressional Budget Office analysts have predicted the health insurer tax and Cadillac plan provisions will reduce federal revenue by a total of about $29 billion over 10 years.
A summary of the bill posted last week is available here.
An earlier version of the complete text is available here.
The main difference between the version posted last week and the version signed into law is that the version signed into law has a shorter appropriation extension period.
The previous government spending appropriation act expired at midnight on Friday. The federal government had started the process of shutting down part of its operations.
Congressional leaders packaged the ECAA bill as an amendment to H.R. 195, a minor Federal Register printing cost reduction bill.
Members of the House approved one version of the ECAA bill last Thursday, with most Republicans voting for the bill and most Democrats opposing it. That version would have extended the federal government’s spending appropriation through Feb. 16.
When the ECAA bill arrived in the Senate, many Democrats and some Republicans tried to slow passage, in an effort to persuade Republican leaders to add other provisions, such as help for children brought to the United States illegally.
(Related: Major Health Tax Blockers Reach Senate Floor)
Senate leaders ended up working out a deal that shortened the appropriations extension period and calls for Republicans to continuing working with the Democrats on some other issues.
Members of the Senate today ended up passing the ECAA bill by a 78-18 vote, with strong support from both Republicans and Democrats.
Members of the House quickly approved the amended version of the bill by a 266-150 vote. The final version attracted more votes from Democrats than the original version.
Reaction to Health Insurer Fee Suspension
Drafters of the ACA added the health insurer fee, or health insurer tax (HIT), because they thought the ACA individual coverage “shared responsibility” requirement, or coverage ownership mandate, would lead to windfall profits for health insurers.