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Some Obama Healthcare Provisions Could Continue Temporarily After the Repeal

It is possible that the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its associated taxes could come quickly, but changes may not be effective until 2018 or later, a Republican member of Congress said. At the same time, Democrats in Congress continue to urge reforms and improvements to the ACA.

The ACA created a host of new taxes, including the medical device excise tax, the excise tax on high-dollar health plans (known as “Cadillac plans”), the net investment income tax and the additional Medicare tax. The ACA also imposes a shared responsibility requirement on certain individuals and employers. Since passage of the law in 2010, the Treasury and the IRS have issued regulations implementing these taxes.

“We will repeal it quickly,” Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., said on January 5. “The replacement is something you’ll see…sometime in the June, July time frame. There’s not going to be any changes in 2017. There’s not going to be changes in 2018. So we are talking about new plans in 2019 or later,” he noted. Collins, who has served on the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, did not specify which components of the ACA could remain in place post-repeal and pending replacement.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., addressed the ACA at a press conference on January 5. “We are going to get this law repealed. We’re going to get this law replaced. And we’re going to have a transition period,” Ryan said. Also on January 5, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., discussed ACA-related taxes. According to Manchin, repeal of all of the ACA’s taxes would cost $2.35 trillion in lost revenue, “most at the high top-end income earners.” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said he and his Democratic colleagues are open to dialogue about improving the ACA. “Can this law be improved? Can the healthcare system be improved? Sure, it can. The time to work to make improvements is right now before a repeal vote,” Kaine said.

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