Lobbyists push GOP to repeal Obamacare fees
WASHINGTON» The Republican effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law stalled, but lobbyists are pushing the GOP to continue to target the provisions the industry most despises: the law’s taxes.
House and Senate Republicans hope to push forward on a tax overhaul when Congress returns in September, an item they previously delayed in favor of health care. Repealing the 2010 health care law and its corresponding taxes would have helped simplify the GOP’s upcoming work, but those hopes were deflated when the Senate did not pass a repeal bill last month.
“I think that’s going to have to be part of it,” Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch of Utah said last week when asked if he plans to examine health care taxes after the August recess. The committee oversees taxation.
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said leadership would “look at everything,” including health care taxes.
But House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas has repeatedly said he is not interested in taking up the $1 trillion in taxes associated with the health care law, instead placing responsibility on the Senate to follow through on a repeal. That stance has not changed, according to a committee spokeswoman.
“As the chairman has said before, he believes the best way to get the Obamacare taxes out of the economy is through health care reform legislation like the American Health Care Act, which delivers relief from all of
Republican senator suggests brain tumor affected McCain vote. WASHINGTON»
Sen. Ron Johnson suggested that fellow Republican Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor and the after-midnight timing of the vote were factors in the Arizona lawmaker’s decisive vote against the GOP health care bill.
In a radio interview this week with “Chicago’s Morning Answer,” Johnson answered questions about the collapse of the years-long Republican effort to repeal and replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, his criticism of the process and McCain’s dramatic vote.
In the early morning hours July 28, the Senate narrowly rejected the legislation, with McCain joining Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, delivering a serious blow to President Donald Trump’s agenda.
McCain, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer, had returned to the Senate that week for the critical votes, lifting GOP hopes and then dashing them.
“He has a brain tumor right now. That vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning. Some of that might have factored in,” Wisconsin’s Johnson said.
Texas doctor gets 35 years in prison for medical fraud.
A 60-year-old Dallas-area doctor has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for helping defraud Medicare and Medicaid out of almost $375 million.
A federal judge also ordered Dr. Jacques Roy on Wednesday to pay more than $268 million restitution. A jury in April 2016 convicted the Rockwall physician on nine of 10 counts of defrauding a health care benefit program. — Denver Post wire services the Obamacare taxes,” spokeswoman Lauren Aronson told CQ Roll Call, referring to the Housepassed GOP health care bill.
Medical device makers are still eyeing the year’s remaining agenda to repeal the 2.3 percent tax on the industry after a two-year holiday that Congress previously cleared expires, said Greg Crist, spokesman for the Advanced Medical Technology Association, or AdvaMed.
The tax is set to take effect again in January. AdvaMed is pushing for action through vehicles ranging from a tax overhaul package to a Children’s Health Insurance Program reauthorization.
The group is launching a small digital ad buy on Monday in key states such as Oregon, home of House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, and Ohio, home of Rep. Pat Tiberi, chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.