Since they’re too afraid to cut back on subsidized benefits, ObamaCare taxes may become GOP taxes.
The story of ObamaCare taxes is simple: if you aren’t going to repeal a government program, don’t promise to repeal it! The voters have been screaming for the abolition of ObamaCare for the last eight years. Republicans owe their awesome victories in 2010, 2014, and 2016 to voter hatred of ObamaCare. They knew, all that time, that the program had started to benefit a few people. If they aren’t willing to cut those people off, then they are betraying their base.
There will be consequences.
The Hill reports, “GOP considers keeping ObamaCare taxes.”
Senators are seriously considering keeping in place some ObamaCare taxes for longer than the House-passed bill would as they seek to draft healthcare legislation that can pass their chamber with a simple majority.
Republicans are looking to slowly phase out extra federal funds for Medicaid expansion, beef up the new tax credits for buying insurance and add money for opioid abuse treatment — but they’ll have to pay for it to ensure the bill passes muster.
That’s because the Senate healthcare bill must save at least as much money as the House’s legislation. Some senators are interested in additions to the healthcare bill that could cost the government, and savings would have to be found elsewhere, perhaps in some of the taxes, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the chamber’s No. 3 Republican, said.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who is heavily involved in the healthcare discussions as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said that his preference is to repeal all of the taxes but that senators would “look at everything.”
“We’re not going to ignore anything,” he told reporters Tuesday. “We’re going to have to really look very carefully.”
Delaying the repeal or keeping more of the ObamaCare taxes would be the easiest fix, but it risks creating a backlash on the right — and substantial pushback could imperil the bill’s prospects. About 45 conservative groups and activists said in a letter Tuesday that it “would be a mistake” for a Senate bill to not include the tax repeals that were a part of the bill passed by the House last month.
At issue are the numerous taxes that ObamaCare created to help pay for the 2010 health law. Some of the taxes target specific parts of the healthcare industry, while others are paid by high-income individuals. These taxes have long been unpopular with Republicans, and some have also drawn concerns from Democrats.