AMAC Action’s Government Relations team continues to recruit co-sponsors for HR 856, the Physician Pro Bono Care Act. This often requires multiple follow-up meetings because of the sheer volume of priorities Members of the House and Senate face. Last week we met with both Republican and Democrat House Members urging them to join on this bill, which serves both to substantially increase access to healthcare for the poor (Medicaid-eligible) by providing a tax deduction for participating physicians and to thereby reduce federal and state Medicaid outlays. We expect that once enacted, the net savings will be in the billions of dollars annually.
In addition, we continue to urge Members of the House and Senate to consider and introduce in whole or in part AMAC’s Social Security Guarantee – Social Security Plus initiative. At long last, congressional interest in addressing Social Security’s solvency is ripening, although the time for any meaningful congressional action is yet unclear. The Democrat Chair of the House Social Security Subcommittee, however, will eventually move legislation to the full House Ways & Means Committee – and to which AMAC has outlined compromise legislation that embodies the key elements our recommendations.
AMAC joined in a letter signed by 151 groups this week opposing the House efforts to roll back the tax reductions in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation, which also includes efforts to shorten the duration of the death tax reductions. AMAC will continue to join in the effort to block such legislation. Nonetheless, the Democrat majority in the House Committee on Ways and Means passed the “Tax Certainty and Disaster Relief Act” out of committee. This legislation rolls back the increased estate, gift and generation skipping tax exemptions three years earlier than current law, in January 2023 instead of January 2026. Rolling back the increased exemption more than doubles the number of taxpayers currently hit by the death tax.
AMAC Action continues to participate in overall healthcare legislative and administrative reform efforts, including the Administration’s most recent actions to foster greater use of employer-funded and tax-free Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to purchase health insurance policies in the individual market outside their workplace. The revised HRA rule, which takes effect on January 1, 2020 is expected to give an estimated 800,000 businesses, including small businesses an additional option to offer coverage options to an estimated 11 million workers and dependents.