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house Bill H.R. 2579

Should the American Health Care Act's Health Insurance Tax Credits be Eligible for Use on COBRA Continuation Coverage?

Argument in favor

People who want to enroll in COBRA continuation coverage after losing their job or have their hours cut should be able to do so with the help of the AHCA’s health insurance tax credits.

Sarah's Opinion
···
06/16/2017
If they are going forward with this abomination then yes. But we need single payer healthcare more than anything else.
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Lisa's Opinion
···
06/16/2017
The American public does NOT want Trumpcare. We want SINGLE PAYER!!!
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Alex's Opinion
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06/16/2017
If this vile abomination of a bill actually passes, it should at least contain *something* useful for the average American. That said AMERICA WANTS SINGLE PAYER!!!!
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Argument opposed

This bill would only become law if the AHCA were to be enacted, and as a result it should be opposed even if tax credits for COBRA continuation coverage would be helpful.

IllWill's Opinion
···
06/15/2017
This is just a way to put a band-aid over the enormous problems that would arise if the AHCA were to become law. How about instead of trying to ram through a bill that should never see the light of day, we pass single payer instead?
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Tyler's Opinion
···
06/16/2017
Single payer is the only solution. If we can afford to spend billions of dollars on killing people with drone strikes than we can afford to save lives. All other developed nations have single payer healthcare. We could end world hunger with our military budget. We should be saving lives not taking them. The ACHA would make 24 million people lose coverage. The law is a disaster that has very low approval ratings. Republicans need to stop being both a puppet for Putin and Wall Street. Healthcare is a basic human right just like education is. The Republicans are trying to secretly pass this. Polls show that people loved Bernie Sanders healthcare ideas. No country that has implemented single payer has gone back. Why? Because single payer is effective and the most humane healthcare policy. The rich do not need anymore tax cuts. The rich in this country are rich enough. Politicians need to start listening to the citizens. Single payer is the only way to end the healthcare crisis in the country. The ACHA is wrong. Single payer is for the many not the few.
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VSB's Opinion
···
06/15/2017
Although I do not disagree with this concept it does nothing to soften the blow that the AHCA will deliver to 23 million Americans. I oppose the AHCA. No matter how it is framed the AHCA's purpose is to end Medicaid expansion and leave seniors, poor and disabled without health care while rich Americans get a tax break. The GOP moral compass seems to be broken as they think these populations are not worthy of health care. Please senators tell them they are wrong and the majority of voters disagree with the AHCA. Pushing health care through recklessly will cost them re-election.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed June 15th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 267 Yea / 144 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMay 19th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 2579?

(Updated 2/12/2018): The Senate is using this bill as the legislative vehicle for legislation produced through an open amendment process, meaning that its text is going to be replaced in its entirety. In its original form the bill would have allowed premium assistance tax credits to be used for unsubsidized COBRA continuing health coverage, a program which allows an individual to keep their coverage under an employer-sponsored health plan after an event that’d otherwise end their coverage — like termination of employment. For the coverage to qualify for the tax credit, the plan administrator of the group health plan must certify that the COBRA continuation coverage meets the requirements for qualified health plans.

COBRA continuation coverage would include continuation coverage provided under:

  • The Internal Revenue Code, the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Public Health Service Act, or the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program;

  • A state law or program that provides comparable coverage;

  • A church plan that provides comparable coverage.

The coverage would not include coverage under a health flexible spending arrangement.

This legislation is contingent on the enactment of the American Health Care Act of 2017, and would take effect (if at all) after December 31, 2019.

Impact

People who qualify for COBRA continuation coverage; employers.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2579

The CBO anticipates that enacting this bill could affect spending or revenues, but that it’s unable to estimate its cost because it relies the on the enactment of other legislation.

More Information

In-Depth: In explaining the rationale for this bill, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wrote in a blog post:

“The Broader Options for Americans Act makes sure people don’t fall through the cracks by expanding access to American Health Care Act tax credits to those who receive COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) continuation coverage. This way, people who lose their jobs, have their have their working hours reduced, or others who would receive COBRA continued coverage won’t be faced with overly expensive health care options.”

In the bill’s committee report, Democrats blasted it for not fixing the underlying “harm and inadequacies” in the American Health Care Act. They contend the AHCA’s tax credits “are unlikely to provide meaningful assistance for the individual market or for COBRA plans.”

This legislation passed the House Ways and Means Committee on a vote of 23-15.

 

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: 401(K) 2013 via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Broader Options for Americans Act

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the premium tax credit with respect to unsubsidized COBRA continuation coverage.

    If they are going forward with this abomination then yes. But we need single payer healthcare more than anything else.
    Like (121)
    Follow
    Share
    This is just a way to put a band-aid over the enormous problems that would arise if the AHCA were to become law. How about instead of trying to ram through a bill that should never see the light of day, we pass single payer instead?
    Like (142)
    Follow
    Share
    Single payer is the only solution. If we can afford to spend billions of dollars on killing people with drone strikes than we can afford to save lives. All other developed nations have single payer healthcare. We could end world hunger with our military budget. We should be saving lives not taking them. The ACHA would make 24 million people lose coverage. The law is a disaster that has very low approval ratings. Republicans need to stop being both a puppet for Putin and Wall Street. Healthcare is a basic human right just like education is. The Republicans are trying to secretly pass this. Polls show that people loved Bernie Sanders healthcare ideas. No country that has implemented single payer has gone back. Why? Because single payer is effective and the most humane healthcare policy. The rich do not need anymore tax cuts. The rich in this country are rich enough. Politicians need to start listening to the citizens. Single payer is the only way to end the healthcare crisis in the country. The ACHA is wrong. Single payer is for the many not the few.
    Like (107)
    Follow
    Share
    Although I do not disagree with this concept it does nothing to soften the blow that the AHCA will deliver to 23 million Americans. I oppose the AHCA. No matter how it is framed the AHCA's purpose is to end Medicaid expansion and leave seniors, poor and disabled without health care while rich Americans get a tax break. The GOP moral compass seems to be broken as they think these populations are not worthy of health care. Please senators tell them they are wrong and the majority of voters disagree with the AHCA. Pushing health care through recklessly will cost them re-election.
    Like (79)
    Follow
    Share
    The American public does NOT want Trumpcare. We want SINGLE PAYER!!!
    Like (75)
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    Share
    If this bill passes Republicans can start looking for new jobs. This bill does not look out for the American people! Why not fix what's wrong with a Obamacare and leave what's working alone instead of taking coverage away from the 23 million who need it. The Republican Party cares about no one but themselves and they prove it every time they pass a bill. They should be subject to the same policies and laws they pass! Let's see how they would feel about the AHCA then.
    Like (67)
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    If this vile abomination of a bill actually passes, it should at least contain *something* useful for the average American. That said AMERICA WANTS SINGLE PAYER!!!!
    Like (61)
    Follow
    Share
    The AHCA shouldn't exist at all. Americans want single-payer.
    Like (13)
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    America should have a single payer/universal health care. COBRA is so expensive that upper middle class citizens can't afford it.
    Like (12)
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    The question should be: Why is the GOP so determined to make being ill while poor into a death sentence? (Also? Congress should be put on Cobra and Medicaid. At once.)
    Like (11)
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    I oppose the AHCA. I have no problem with continuation of care with COBRA and do think this would be helpful in many cases.... however I'm not sure why were nor voting to great this policy under actual existing law.
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    Cobra is an abomination, as is this AHCA the Repuklicans are trying to ram thru. Our only hope is Universal HealthCare.
    Like (9)
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    Republicans - you have the absolute majority and power....where is your super, fantastic, bigly, enormous, best plan ever? You have complained for over 8 years. Stop this b.s. and produce a proper healthcare plan for all. After all you elected the greatest negotiator - fix it.
    Like (8)
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    Why are you voting on a bill that does nothing unless it's mother bill is passed later on..... you people make no sense
    Like (6)
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    The horrible impact of the AHCA will not be felt until after the 2018 elections. The GOP know this and are stalling
    Like (6)
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    COBRA is unaffordable for people out of work. Instead of a tax credit to people that don't have an income, you subsidize it?
    Like (6)
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    Please vote NO on AHCA. It threatens coverage for too many Americans and would be devastating for people with pre existing conditions.
    Like (5)
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    Let's do away with the expense Healthcare package & perks for the congressional elites. It's time for "single payer" health insurance for all Americans.
    Like (5)
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    The American people want Single Payer / universal healthcare like every other civilized society around the globe!
    Like (5)
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    The American Health Care Act is a disgrace to the American people and this shouldn't be an option because it shouldn't pass in the first place.
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