By Roger Russell, June 23 2017
Tax experts are poring over the Senate version of the Republican health care bill, examining the bill's tax provisions and its differences from the House version of the legislation.
The two versions of the Senate and House bills are not that far apart, according to Dustin Stamper, a director in Grant Thornton's Washington National Tax Office. “The tax titles are pretty similar in a lot of ways,” he said. “They're proposing to do the same things with ACA taxes, with a number of minor differences here and there. The biggest difference is what to do going forward to continue to offer refundable tax credits for purchasing insurance. The Senate draft is much more generous than the House bill.”
Structurally, there are differences too, Stamper noted. The House repeals the premium tax credit but comes out with its own version, while the Senate keeps the premium tax credit structure but makes some changes to it. “The Senate draft would benchmark the credit to a lower value plan,” said Stamper. “They would also cap it at a lower percentage of the federal poverty level. It's now at 400 percent, but the Senate would take that down to 350 percent. In addition, it would adjust some of the percentages not only by income but also by age, while the House bill only takes age into consideration.”