Senate GOP leadership should pledge to repeal ObamaCare’s taxes on high earners in tax-reform legislation since they were left in place in the chamber’s revised healthcare bill, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist said.
“All Obamacare taxes should be repealed,” Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform, said in a statement Thursday. “The Trump tax reform plan, the House health bill, and the original Senate health bill abolished the Obamacare 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax. Given the most recent language leaves some of the taxes in place, it is important for Senate Leadership to make it clear that those taxes will be abolished in tax reform this year.”
The revised Senate healthcare bill, released Thursday, would keep two ObamaCare taxes that apply to high earners: the net investment income tax and the 0.9-percent Medicare surtax. The measure still repeals other ObamaCare taxes, including taxes on the medical device and prescription-drug industries.
Ahead of the revised bill’s release, Norquist and other prominent conservatives had been urging senators to repeal all of ObamaCare’s taxes in healthcare legislation. Norquist’s statement signals that retaining the taxes on high earners in the healthcare bill is not a deal-breaker for him, so long as lawmakers promise to eliminate the taxes later in 2017.
Democrats had attacked the original version of the Senate bill for repealing the investment and Medicare taxes, arguing that the legislation would take away coverage from poor people in order to cut taxes for the rich. Additionally, keeping ObamaCare’s taxes on high earners gives lawmakers more revenue that they can use to pay for efforts to lower health costs.
But, repealing the two ObamaCare taxes in tax reform could make a rewrite of the tax code more challenging. If lawmakers want tax reform to be deficit-neutral, they would need to find ways to pay for the repeal of the investment tax and the Medicare surtax.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyNorquist: ObamaCare taxes kept in health bill should be repealed in tax reform Dems on tax reform outreach: Talk is cheap Koch-backed group launches ads urging lawmakers to drop GOP border tax MORE (R-Texas) has said he wants all of the ObamaCare taxes repealed in healthcare legislation. He told reporters on Thursday that the House will discuss how to move forward once they see what the final Senate healthcare bill looks like.