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For better or for worse, Republicans are one step closer to overhauling the federal health care law best known as Obamacare.
Republican leaders on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees released a draft of their legislative recommendations late Monday.
These are the main committees with jurisdiction over health care. Their legislative recommendations continue paving the way for revision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act through a legislative process known as reconciliation, according to the announcement issued Monday by the House Ways and Means Committee.
President Donald J. Trump’s Office of Management and Budget director, Mick Mulvaney, tells CBS News on Tuesday that the White House worked closely with House Republicans on the proposal:
“We think the system that the House introduced last night, that we worked with very closely with the House in support, actually provides more affordable health care for people so when they do get sick, they can afford to go to the doctor.”
To show you how the Republican recommendations might impact your finances if they become law, we’ve broken down some of the changes that would affect the average person.
The Republican legislation leaves aspects of the Affordable Care Act intact. They include:
1. Protections for pre-existing conditions: Health insurance companies would still be prohibited from denying coverage or charging more money to a patient because the patient has pre-existing health conditions.
2. Dependent coverage for young adults: Dependents would still be allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they are 26.
The Affordable Care Act contains 21 measures designed to raise federal revenue, and the new legislation would “explicitly repeal” 14 of them, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Tax Foundation. The repealed measures that would affect the average person include:
3. The individual mandate: Individuals who fail to maintain minimum essential health insurance coverage would no longer be financially penalized at tax time as they have been in the past.
4. The increased threshold for medical deductions: Current law allows households to deduct eligible medical expenses from their federal income taxes only if they exceed 10 percent of the household’s income, up from the prior threshold of 7.5 percent. The new legislation would lower the threshold back down to 7.5 percent.
Other changes in the Republican legislation include:
5. Increased contribution limits for HSAs: The basic limit on the total amount of contributions that you can make to a health savings account (HSA) each year would be increased to the maximum annual deductible and out-of-pocket expenses allowed under a high-deductible health insurance plan. That amounts to at least $6,550 in the case of self-only coverage and $13,100 in the case of family coverage.
6. A refundable tax credit: A tax credit of $2,000 to $14,000 per year would be available to low- and middle-income households that don’t receive insurance through an employer or a government program. Eligible households include individuals making up to $75,000 per year, or joint filers making up to $150,000.
What’s your take on these recommendations? Sound off below or on Facebook.