Sep 14, 2017

ACA taxes may be on the table for tax reform

Officials have discussed repealing health care taxes. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Top Trump administration officials are privately exploring whether to use the tax reform bill to repeal certain health care taxes, which Republicans had also tried to eliminate as part of their failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Three sources with knowledge of the discussions told Axios that this conversation came up at a tax-reform meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House last Thursday.

That meeting included Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, as well as discussion of repealing:

  • The ACA's tax on medical devices
  • Its tax on health insurance plans
  • The individual mandate, which is administered as a tax penalty

These are exploratory discussions, not final ones. But all of these taxes have been on Republicans' chopping block for a long time, and sources said they're serious options, though they've not been socialized on Capitol Hill. Nor has the administration tested whether it's politically possible to attach elements of the health care fight to tax reform.

Quick take: Repealing the individual mandate would be a non-starter for literally all Senate Democrats and a hard sell for some Republicans, as it could cause insurance premiums to spike and ACA markets to destabilize. Repealing the medical-device tax, on the other hand, has garnered bipartisan support in the past and wouldn't have any broader effects on the health care system.

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Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is calling George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticized President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address drew a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,302,318 — Total deaths: 376,322 — Total recoveries — 2,716,924Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,812,125 — Total deaths: 105,192 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response.
  4. Business: Coronavirus could lower GDP by $15.7 trillion — More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.