Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Budget office to gauge health bill effect on coverage, cost

Johnnie Parks | 25 May, 2017, 02:39

All 11 Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the bill.

Bills to raise the gas tax and DMV fees and to raise and extend tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike are expected to be on the Senate agenda Wednesday.

Republican leaders are watching closely not only just to be able to say their bill saves money, but to make sure the CBO confirms it hits the $2 billion savings goal laid out by the budget committee. "So you can give it a good try in the House", said Sen.

Meanwhile, in a last-ditch move, the Senate early Wednesday morning added its far broader version of the bathroom bill as an amendment to another bill, a move it will have to reaffirm later today.

The other bills pertain to tax procedures and administration, workers' compensation, the Department of Health and Human Resources and Health Care Authority, the sale of DHHR-owned hospitals and physician assistants.

As Senate Republicans were discussing a bipartisan spending agreement, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney stood across town pitching Trump's proposal to dramatically alter the role of government in society, shrinking the federal workforce, scaling back anti-poverty programs and cutting spending on things like disease research and job training. "I believe it accommodates all children and I believe that the House has taken a very thoughtful, reasonable approach to trying to address concerns that have been raised leading up to this session".

The other possibility is that the lack of Health Committee savings would be a "fatal" violation.

The bill now heads to the House floor.

After the Senate vote, Rep. Russ Jennings, a moderate Republican from Lakin, said he considered Democrats "unreliable partners". "We're going to find a way to get that product to the individual".

"The Senate didn't have a lot of input on this bill", she said.

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In previous reports on earlier versions of the bill, the nonpartisan budget office concluded the legislation would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million over a decade.

To some, the difference between the two coverage estimates isn't what matters.

"This seems to be the most problematic part of this bill, and it seems to be really unfair", she said.

Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow testified the tax credits included in the tax reform bill would reduce revenue by $425 million annually by 2020. But it does prompt some people to purchase insurance, which helps curb premiums and make markets viable.

Senate conservatives prefer to start phasing out that money next year.

What is the impact of the MacArthur amendment?

"They're obviously looking at a philosophically opposite view of raising revenue", Senate Finance Chairman Mike Hall, R-Putnam, said of the House, which passed a revenue plan Friday with no sales tax increases and no income tax cuts on a bipartisan 74-17 vote.

Some House Republicans expressed doubt that many states would opt out of this ObamaCare provisions, but already one governor, Wisconsin's Scott Walker (R), has indicated interest.

Becker said he could vote for it because it would end the tax loophole from the 2012 tax cuts and it halted the march toward zero income taxes, which has been partly blamed for the state's revenue shortfalls.

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