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House Agrees to Debate ACA Employer Mandate Bill Next Week

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Members of the U.S. House voted 222-171 Thursday to bring an Affordable Care Act employer mandate tweak bill and another measure up for a vote by the full House next week.

House members approved House Resolution 1059.

The resolution sets the rules for debate for H.R. 3798, the “Save American Workers Act of 2017″ bill. That’s the ACA employer mandate tweak bill.

(Related: ACA Employer Mandate Package Nears House Floor)

The resolution also sets the rules for debate of a “conference report” accompanying H.R. 5895 — an energy and water development appropriations bill.

The House and Senate originally approved different versions of the H.R. 5895. The conference report is a measure that irons out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

House Resolution 1059 lets House leaders bring H.R. 3798 and the H.R. 5895 conference report up for debate on the House floor on any day from Sept. 17 through Sept. 24.

The resolution provides for just one hour of floor debate on H.R. 3798.

All 222 of the House Republicans who voted on the resolution voted for it.

Just four of the 175 Democrats who voted on the resolution supported it. The others voted against the resolution.

H.R. 3798 would:

  • Change the ACA employer coverage mandate threshold for “full-time employee” to 40 hours per week, from 30 hours per week.
  • Keep the ACA employer coverage mandate from applying to any month beginning after Dec. 31, 2014, and before Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Postpone the start date of the ACA excise tax on high-cost health benefits packages to Dec. 31, 2022, from the Dec. 31, 2021, start date now in effect.
  • Repeal an ACA excise tax on indoor tanning services.
  • Require employers to provide Form 1095 coverage statements to individuals only when individuals ask for the statements, instead of having to send the statements to all employees, recently departed employees and certain dependents every year.

One challenge supporters of H.R. 3798 face is finding new federal revenue, or new federal spending cuts, to offset the effects of ACA employer mandate changes on the federal budget.

Analysts at the Congressional Budget Office estimated in a report posted Tuesday that H.R. 3798 could cut federal revenue by about $12 billion in 2019, and by about $52 billion over the period from 2019 through 2028.

The delay in the effective date of the employer mandate and the change in the definition of full-time worker could cost the government about $46 billion in revenue over the 10-year period starting in 2019, according to the CBO analysts.

A copy of  the CBO report is available here.

— Read House ACA Employer Health Penalty Bill Gets CBO Budget Impact Scoreon ThinkAdvisor.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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