Final Tax Bill, That Includes Individual Mandate Repeal, Looks Headed For Passage
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) negotiated a promise that in exchange for her vote on the tax bill, health care legislation aimed at shoring up the ACA marketplaces will pass. But critics think she's being played. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry has a lot to be happy about with the tax package.
The Associated Press:
Huge Tax Bill Heads For Passage As GOP Senators Fall In Line
After weeks of quarrels, qualms and then eleventh-hour horse-trading, Republicans revealed the details of their huge national tax rewrite late Friday — along with announcements of support that all but guarantee approval to give President Donald Trump the Christmas legislative triumph he's been aching for. (12/15)
The Washington Post:
Sen. Susan Collins Takes Huge Leap Of Faith With Tax Bill. Critics Say She’s Getting Played.
As GOP tax legislation nears final passage on Capitol Hill, Sen. Susan Collins is approaching the moment for a mighty leap of faith. The Maine Republican extracted key concessions in exchange for her support for the bill, including commitments from the Trump administration and Senate leaders to back two pieces of legislation pumping money into the health-care system. The problem is, House Republicans largely oppose the health-care bills. (Werner, 12/15)
The New York Times:
The Winners And Losers In The Tax Bill
With the bill finally headed to a vote this coming week, taxpayers are scrambling to determine whether the legislation renders them winners or losers. ... With the repeal of the individual mandate, some people who currently buy health insurance because they are required by law to do so are expected to go without coverage. According to the Congressional Budget Office, healthier people are more likely to drop their insurance, leaving insurers stuck with more people who are older and ailing. This is expected to make average insurance premiums on the individual market go up by about 10 percent. All told, 13 million fewer Americans are projected to have health coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (Drucker and Rappeport, 12/16)
Final Tax Bill Holds Much To Please Biopharma
The tax overhaul that Republicans hope to send to President Trump’s desk next week is expected to lighten the tax burden on the pharmaceutical industry and provide a number of other benefits that could help drug makers boost their bottom lines. The final version of the bill, released late Friday, retains a key tax credit aimed at incentivizing research into rare disease treatments — an improvement over an early draft that repealed it for the industry. The package will also lower the tax rate companies have to pay on earnings they stockpiled overseas, though the final rate is higher than in earlier drafts. (Mershon, 12/15)