Health Care Reform Information Center
The 2016 election results have thrown the future of the Affordable Care Act into murky territory. Given that, we have archived all our old ACA information here, and will be updating a new set of resources for you moving forward.
This information is updated frequently and will continue to evolve. We will keep you posted of significant developments as they occur. If you have any questions on these materials, please contact Joel Kopperud at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In early January 2016, Republicans attempted to use the budget reconciliation process to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. On January 8, 2016, President Obama vetoed the bill. The Republicans’ bill, HR 3762: Restoring Americans Health Care Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, repeals many key components of the ACA including: government-run exchanges, employer and individual mandate, medical device tax and the Cadillac tax. It also phases out Medicaid expansion over a two-year period. President-elect Trump has repeatedly stated that his top priority will be a quick and full repeal of the ACA. The repeal bill will likely build on the repeal legislation from January 2016. You can read a summary of that bill here and see it in it's entirety here.
It is not clear yet what exactly the replacement for the ACA will look like. There have been multiple repeal efforts by both House and Senate Republicans followed by both legislation and road maps for an ACA replacement bill.
As part of his broader tax reform plan, A Better Way, Speaker Ryan has released a blueprint for a healthcare reform bill. This blueprint would cap the tax exemption on employer-provided benefits at “a level that would ensure job-based coverage continues unchanged for the vast majority of health insurance plans,” thus taxing the most robust plans. The tax would be adjusted for factors including cost of living. HSA contributions made on a pre-tax basis will NOT be counted toward the cost of coverage for purposes of the cap.
President-elect Trump has nominated Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Rep. Price has been active in creating replacement legislation. In 2015, Rep. Price, along with Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and David Perdue (R-GA), introduced HR 2300: Empowering Patients Act. This plan would cap the tax exclusion for employer-provided benefits, allowing for an exclusions of health coverage of $20,000 for a family and $8,000 for an individual, with any additional funds used to be taxable dollars. The plan also expands HSAs and provides a universal tax credit for individuals purchasing coverage on the individual market.
In 2015, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Burr (R-NC) released an alternative replacement plan entitled, The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act. This plan would cap the tax exclusion for employer-provided benefits at $30,000 for a family and $12,000 for an individual, with any additional health benefits to be considered taxable income subject to the regular income tax for that employee. The plan also expands HSAs and reforms Medicaid.
We anticipate that you'll see many more plans put forward in the near future and we'll try to summarize them here.
To see the National Journal's webinar slides on the future of the ACA, please click here.
Preserve the Tax Treatment of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
Employer-Sponsored Insurance (ESI) is the most common type of health coverage in the United States, with more than 177 million Americans depending on it. But some in Congress want to tax employees on the cost of their health care benefits.
Imposing a tax on employer-sponsored health plans is a dangerous policy experiment that could significantly erode employer-sponsored health coverage. Any cap on the tax exclusion is a direct tax on employees and the middle class.
According to the American Health Policy Institute, capping the tax exclusion will increase the burden of the tax, which will ultimately fall on a significant number of hardworking employees and their families. Click here to see our full page on ESHI.
March 2017 ACA Repeal and Replace Overview Memo from Steptoe
On March 9, the House Committees on Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce voted along party lines to approve budget reconciliation language to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. The House Budget Committee is expected to mark up repeal and replace legislation next week.
February 2017 CIAB Letter to Secretary Price Regarding Establishment of a National Benchmark Health Plan
On February 16, The Council filed a letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price urging him to establish a national benchmark health plan in lieu of current costly state-enhanced “benchmark” plans.
February 2017 Comparison of ACA Replacement Plans
This document from our legal team at Steptoe & Johnson provides a comparison of the five major ACA replacement proposals highlighting key issues.
Tax Treatment Letter to the White House National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council
The Council is working in conjunction with other trade organizations to encourage the protection of the employer sponsored benefits tax exclusion.
Coalition Letter to Members of Congress to Urge the Importance of Protecting the Tax Exception for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans
The Council is working in conjunction with other trade organizations to encourage Members of Congress to preserve the current tax treatment of employer-sponsored health plans.
Why We Should Preserve the Tax Exemption for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
A helpful set of talking points from The Council's government affairs team about why the preferred tax treatment of employer-sponsored health plans should be preserved. The points made in this one pager are useful and easy for everyone, including clients, to understand.
Memo on the Final Rule on 2018 ACA Benefit and Payment Parameters
HHS has issued final 2018 benefit and payment parameters under the ACA. There are a variety of issues that are of great interest to Council members. These benefit and payment parameters apply for plan years that begin on or after January 1, 2018.
Benefits of the Tax-Preferred Status of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
American Health Policy Institute - 2016
Employer-provided health insurance has been excluded from income and payroll taxes for more than 60 years. In fact, the American Health Policy Institute notes in this 2016 report that this tax exclusion reduces the cost of health insurance by nearly 32 percent for the 177 million Americans who receive health care benefits through their employers. In the midst of certain political change however, this very exclusion is under threat.