By Jill Zorn |
It’s two for the price of one: a tax “reform” bill and an ACA repeal bill.
That’s right. Gutting the ACA is back. This time it’s in the form of a repeal of the individual mandate which was just added to the Senate version of the tax bill.
The evolving tax bill has always posed a threat to health care. It cuts taxes for corporations and the super-rich, leave a gaping hole in the federal budget – a gap that can only be filled by cutting Medicare, Medicaid, the ACA and other crucial programs. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), just published an analysis that shows the House bill would trigger automatic cuts to Medicare of $25 billion a year, beginning in 2018.
Add to that these gems contained in the House version of the bill:
- Scraps deductions for medical expenses
- Includes language designed to undercut Roe v. Wade
- Eliminates deductions for state and local taxes, further straining Connecticut’s budget woes
Yesterday the House passed their bill by a vote of 227-225. In a process very familiar to earlier ACA repeal attempts, the legislation was written exclusively by Republicans and then rushed through with very little time for analysis or debate.
All eyes now turn to the Senate, where the Finance Committee is currently marking up the bill. The most recent version has been shown to actually increase taxes paid by working families, those who earn under $75,000 a year.
Now the “political grenade” of ACA individual mandate repeal has been added to the mix. The CBO says that repeal of the individual mandate will cause 13 million people to lose health insurance coverage and increase premiums by 10 percent.
The vote in the Senate is expected after next week’s Thanksgiving recess. The Senate is where ACA repeal bills were killed off in the past. There is still a chance the tax reform bill can be stopped there or after the final version is hammered out in a House-Senate conference committee.
Connecticut Senators and Representatives are announcing rallies where you can voice your support for ACA and opposition to the tax bill. Sign up with Protect Our Care CT to get action alerts on upcoming events. And your House member and Senators Blumenthal and Murphy need to hear from you, so they can say that they have received calls from thousands of constituents who are opposed to this awful bill.