Tax reform has to wait.
After the healthcare reform failed before it even reached the floor, President Donald Trump wanted to move onto tax reform. But he recently told The Wall Street Journal that he wants to return to healthcare:
Three weeks later, he said he is determined to resurrect the health-care bill even if it means delaying the tax overhaul, telling The Wall Street Journal in an interview: “I want to get health care done…I think I will get it done.”
The tax overhaul, he said, would have to wait.
Triump also expressed “a renewed confidence in Freedom Caucus,” which is the main group in Congress that kept the GOP from even taking its bill to a vote:
“They want to do the right thing and they do like me and they do like their president,” he said.
Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a prominent House Republican and leader of the Freedom Caucus, said he had conversations with the president and his staff in which he set out a potential path to yes on a health-care deal for a number of conservative members and others.
He declined to discuss the specifics of that path, but praised the president’s past business history in making deals where no deals seemed to be in sight.
Trump had previously threatened to target members of the caucus during midterm elections next year.
However, Trump’s decision to return to healthcare has caused a few problems because the GOP in Congress has started tax reform talks:
“We don’t get it. What a waste of time and political capital to return to the quagmire of health reform,” said Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, a North Carolina investment firm, in a client note Wednesday. Unlike taxes or infrastructure, he said the health bill is “clearly a no-win issue for the Republicans.”
The renewed focus on health care also raises the prospect of a second embarrassing defeat that would raise more questions about the new administration’s ability to shepherd complicated legislation through Congress.
But Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has always insisted that healthcare reform must happen before anything else. As Ed Morrissey points out at Hot Air, the GOP healthcare bill “does repeal a number of taxes built into ObamaCare that a separate tax reform bill can’t do.”
The regulation published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday is a response to insurers’ demands that federal authorities take steps to limit consumers’ ability to drop in and out of the insurance market. Such “gaming” of the system drives up costs for the carriers that must cover the consumers’ claims.
The overall consequence of the new rules is that health insurance will be harder to buy in 2018, especially for people whose circumstances change during the year, enabling them to buy policies outside the annual sign-up period. The length of that sign-up period is also cut in half.
Other aspects of the regulation could make coverage less comprehensive, reduce the value of the tax credit subsidies that make premiums more affordable for low- and middle-income people, and allow insurers to offer plans with fewer medical providers in their networks.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.