House Committee Signals Possible Action on ACA Taxes

December 15, 2017

House Republicans unveiled a package of HR Policy-supported bills this week that would delay a number of Affordable Care Act taxes, including the Cadillac tax and penalties for the employer mandate, which could be acted on later this month or early next year.  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) announced five separate bills "to deliver immediate, targeted relief" from the ACA taxes that take effect in 2018, including:
  • A five-year delay for the medical device tax to 2022; 
  • A two-year delay for the health insurance tax to 2020; 
  • A one-year delay for the Cadillac tax to 2021; and 
  • Eliminating penalties for the employer mandate through 2018.
According to Chairman Brady, allowing these taxes to continue or go back into effect "would hurt families across the country," and he therefore looks forward to "advancing legislation in the weeks ahead."  However, it is unclear whether Congress will be able to act on these taxes before the end of the year as part of a government funding bill, or if it will take action early next year as part of a broader health care bill that also addresses funding for the ACA's cost sharing reduction subsidies and state reinsurance programs.  The signal that the Committee will consider a delay of the Cadillac tax was welcome news after rumors circulated that Republicans would seek to combine the delay with limits on the tax exclusion of employer-provided health benefits.  HR Policy has joined other business groups in actively lobbying against such a trade-off.