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The Senate Tax Reform Bill, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), Will Have a Major Impact on Healthcare in America

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2017 1:22 PM

Early Saturday morning, the Senate passed their own version of the 2017 Tax Reform Bill that will have major healthcare implications. It is now slated to go on to the full House for mark-up and negotiation. It appears that it will be approved quickly and move on to President Trump to give him his first major legislative win. This bill is not without controversy and is opposed by AARP, American Psychiatric Association, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and American Academy of Pediatrics.

This tax reform bill strips out the financial penalties associated with the individual mandate currently in the Affordable Care Act and added a modified Alexander-Murray bipartisan funding bill, to stabilize the insurance exchanges. It also has a last minute amendment negotiated by Senator Susan Collins of Maine (R-Me.) that will allow, a continued itemized healthcare deduction at a lower threshold. Initially, all deductions were stripped out of the first version of the bill. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) allowed Senator Collins amendment to be included in the TCJA bill along with the Alexander- Murray bipartisan funding bill along with his personal assurance that Medicare would not be cut in order to garner Collins support.

Collins, a staunch advocate for the home health and hospice industry, has been concerned about the cost increase that would take place for her constituents if these amendments weren’t included.  Here is hoping that she has made the right bet as the downstream effects of the loss of the individual mandate have yet to be determined.

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Courtesy of: Lydia Ramsey, http://www.businessinsider.com/

 

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