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House members introduce slew of ACA tax delay bills

Chairman Kevin Brady applauded the release of ACA tax relief bills. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee, with Chairman Kevin Brady's blessing, introduced a handful of bills today that would delay some of the Affordable Care Act's taxes and temporilty lift the employer mandate.

Why this matters: Insurers and medical device manufacturers have been lobbying hard for Congress to freeze the ACA's taxes on their products. But introducing a bill doesn't mean it will become law, and next steps aren't yet clear.

Here's what the bills would do:

  • 5-year pause of the medical device tax
  • Pause the health insurance tax in 2018 only for insurer that provide customers with a premium rebate; then in 2019 for all insurers
  • 2-year pause of health insurance tax for plans regulated by Puerto Rico
  • Retroactively lifts the employer mandate for the last three years, as well as over the next year, paired with a one-year delay of the tax on especially generous "Cadillac" health plans (currently set to go into effect in 2020).
  • Temporarily left a ban on using health savings accounts to pay for over-the-counter medicine

Key quote: "I look forward to continuing this work and advancing legislation in the weeks ahead," Brady said.