As President Donald Trump’s administration seeks to gut the Affordable Care Act, the Republican-led Congress is expected to use its own scoring system — and potentially a new scoring tool — to hammer home its case against the law.
The measure is expected in a Senate HELP bill that will be unveiled Thursday, which would require that health insurers provide an annual breakdown of how many people they cover and how much money they spend on health care services.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Service said Friday that the score was already in place, and that the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation was expected to issue its own score in the next few weeks.
Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee are pushing a bill that would eliminate the mandate to buy insurance, require insurers to charge people based on their age and charge people higher rates for coverage.
That measure would also make it easier for states to waive their requirement for people to buy coverage.
Democrats are also pushing a proposal that would allow states to impose a 25 percent surcharge on health insurance premiums to help pay for the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions.
That bill is expected next week.
Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sens.
Tom Cotton, Chris Murphy and Patty Murray, also are pushing legislation that would reduce the penalties for people who do not buy insurance.
It would give states greater flexibility in setting premiums and also allow states more flexibility to decide how much insurance companies must provide and what kind of plans they offer.
The House is also expected to vote on its version of the HELP bill Thursday.
The new bill would also lower the income thresholds for individuals who qualify for the individual mandate to $25,000 and $50,000, and the threshold for those who qualify under the Affordable Health Care Act to $95,000.
The legislation would also allow people who lose their coverage due to the ACA to obtain health insurance through state-based exchanges.
Democrats have also been pushing for legislation that increases taxes on wealthy Americans.
The Senate Finance committee is expected Thursday to hold a hearing on the legislation, which they have called “a regressive tax on the middle class.”
The panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, called the legislation “a giveaway to the very wealthiest Americans.”
“This is a tax cut for the wealthy,” he said.
The bill would increase taxes on corporations by a flat tax rate of 23.8 percent, on individuals by 8.8 percentage points, on the top 1 percent of earners by a 26.3 percent rate, on businesses by a 22.5 percent rate and on people by a 19.4 percent rate.
Brown also said it would lower the estate tax exemption for wealthy people from $4.5 million to $2 million.
Brown said the measure would not affect the wealthy because they could still deduct their state taxes from their income.
Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the legislation would provide relief to millions of middle-class families.
“We’re doing this to make sure that when the middle of the family is hit by a tax increase, that it doesn’t get wiped out,” he told reporters Friday.
The Finance Committee is expected on Thursday to pass its version with a vote expected to be 60-37.
The HELP bill has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
But the Senate will need to approve it by Friday to move to the House.