KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Three Obamacare Taxes Left In Place In Revised Version Of Health Bill

The move is a departure from earlier plans to repeal the taxes.

CQ Roll Call: Retooled Senate Health Care Bill Muddles Tax Strategy
The revised Senate health care bill released Thursday does not repeal three taxes created by Obamacare, raising concerns that a tax on investment income paid by the wealthy will continue and create problems for a larger tax overhaul. The new Senate draft does not repeal a 3.8 percent net investment tax and a Medicare payroll surtax, which are aimed at individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000. The rewritten health care bill also does not change a provision in the 2010 health care law that prevents insurance companies from writing off the salaries and compensation of highly paid executives. (Ota, 7/13)

In related news —

The Washington Post: The GOP’s Under-The-Radar Tax Break For The Upper Middle Class
A new tax break for the upper middle class was offered up Thursday in Senate Republicans' revised version of their bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The legislation would make health insurance premiums more affordable for consumers who buy the kinds of inexpensive policies that are crucial to the GOP health-care agenda. Yet independent analysts caution that the benefits would mainly accrue to affluent households, and the provision might not substantially expand coverage among the uninsured. (Ehrenfreund, 7/13)

CQ Roll Call: Revised Health Care Bill Still Faces Challenges
The revised Senate health care bill that was rolled out Thursday morning would allow individuals to use tax credits to purchase catastrophic health insurance and would let insurers sell plans on the exchanges that don’t meet Obamacare requirements in certain situations. The move is designed to attract the support of conservatives such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who proposed an amendment that is relatively similar. The bill would create a $70 billion fund to make payments to certain health insurers to help cover high-risk individuals in exchange policies that meet the health care law’s requirements. (McIntire, 7/13)

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