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THE DAILY WHIP: THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2017

House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:

10:00 a.m.: Morning Hour
12:00 p.m.: Legislative Business

Fifteen “One Minutes”
2:30 – 3:00 p.m. 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. 

H.Res. 379 – Rule providing for consideration of both H.R. 2372 – VETERAN Act (Rep. Sam Johnson – Ways and Means) and H.R. 2579 – Broader Options for Americans Act (Rep. Tiberi – Ways and Means) (One hour of debate).  The Rules committee has recommended one Rule which provides for consideration of two bills.

For H.R. 2372, the Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means. The Rule allows one motion to recommit, with or without instructions, and waives all points of order against the legislation. 

For H.R. 2579, the Rules Committee has recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means. The Rule allows one motion to commit and waives all points of order against the legislation. 

H.R. 2372 – VETERAN Act (Rep. Sam Johnson – Ways and Means) (One hour of debate).  The bill would amend TrumpCare to allow veterans who are not enrolled in military related coverage to receive premium tax credits, the loss of which would be a consequence of the Republican-passed health care bill.  TrumpCare (AHCA) would effectively prohibit any veteran eligible for government healthcare, like VA care or TRICARE, from receiving a tax credit to purchase a health plan in the individual market even if the veteran currently obtains coverage outside of these programs.  While TrumpCare still has not been considered by the Senate where it faces an uphill battle to become law, House Republicans are already trying to pass a “fix” to their severely inadequate and dangerous legislation.  It is notable that House Republicans argued before House passage of TrumpCare that Democratic claims that veterans would lose essential tax credits for health benefits were unfounded. 

Under the Affordable Care Act, a refundable tax credit (the premium assistance credit) is provided to help reduce the cost of insurance premiums for certain individuals who purchase health insurance plans through state health insurance exchanges. The Affordable Care Act already ensures that our nation’s veterans receive premium tax credits.  The legislation does nothing to address the increased costs that would be imposed on many veterans as a result of the “age tax” imposed on older Americans under the Republican repeal bill, nor does it protect veterans with pre-existing conditions.

Bill Text for H.R. 2372:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 2372:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

H.R. 2579Broader Options for Americans Act (Rep. Tiberi – Ways and Means) (One hour of debate).  This legislation would amend TrumpCare to allow people to receive tax credits for Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) coverage if they elect to use that coverage.  COBRA requires employers to offer certain eligible employees who lost their health benefits due to job loss, the option to continue to receive their health insurance benefits for up to eighteen months at the employee’s own cost, plus a 2% administrative fee.

Before enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), COBRA coverage was an essential service for many people, especially those with pre-existing conditions who were unable to find affordable coverage.  Due to the creation of individual marketplaces and the ACA requirement barring discrimination against those with preexisting conditions, COBRA is not as necessary as it was in the past, but it is an option that some choose.  TrumpCare would essentially make COBRA unaffordable due to the lack of tax credits.  Now, House Republicans are trying to pass another “fix” to their severely inadequate and dangerous healthcare legislation that still faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

Importantly, this legislation does nothing to fix the broader issues with TrumpCare like the “age tax” that forces those between 50-64 to pay at least five times as much as they currently pay for coverage, increased out-of-pocket costs for low and middle income families, and does not address the twenty-three million Americans that will lose coverage over the next decade.

Bill Text for H.R. 2579:
PDF Version

Background for H.R. 2579:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)

The Daily Quote

“You know, every day, we come here to test and challenge each other. We feel so deeply about the things we fight for and believe in. At times, our emotions can get the best of us. We are all imperfect. But we do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber. For all the noise and fury, we are a family. These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire. These were our brothers and sisters who ran into danger and saved countless lives. So before this House returns to its business, I want us to slow down and reflect, to think about how we are being tested right now. Because we are. I ask each of you to join me in resolving to come together...to lift each other up...and to show the country—show the world—that we are one House. The people's House—united in our humanity.”

      -      Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan (R-WI), June 14, 2017