Last night Republican leadership in the House of Representatives released a proposed legislation to provide short-term funding of the government until February 16, 2018, thereby avoiding a government shutdown this Friday. The bill text and an explanation of the bill’s provisions is contained here As part of this bill, the effective date of the excise tax on high-cost health plans (the “Cadillac Tax”) would be delayed for an additional two years, so that the tax will not become effective until 2022 rather than 2020. The bill also addresses other tax provisions that were part of the Affordable Care Act, such as the medical device excise tax and the excise tax on health insurers. In addition, the bill would extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six additional years.
Congress will need to address the funding of the government by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. The short-term funding legislation proposed by House Republican leadership will need to be voted on before then and we may see changes to this proposal to help garner support for the bill. The Senate must also agree to a short-term funding legislation, but there are reports that Senate Democrats may filibuster the bill if it does not address immigration matters such as an extension of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that President Trump has suspended. Consequently, it is unclear as to whether the short-term funding legislation proposed by House leadership will be enacted thereby averting a government shut-down.
ECFC has sent a letter to the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, thanking him for the inclusion of the Cadillac Tax delay in the short-term funding legislation and expressing our support for the bill. ECFC members should contact their legislators in Congress to ask them to support this legislation which will delay the effective date of the Cadillac Tax.