From President Trump’s new tax plan to renewed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program to former President Obama’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, health care has been at the center of a lot of discussions this week on Capitol Hill.
Vote Expected Today for CHIP — The House is expected to vote today to pass legislation to refund Children’s Health Insurance Program and send federal funds to community health centers. However, questions remain about how to pay for the funding efforts. The original funding legislation for CHIP expired a month ago leaving state programs scrambling to extending their budgets to cover millions of covered children. It’s expected that the bill will face party opposition in the Senate. While both parties have agreed to renew CHIP, how to pay for the program remains the sticking point.
New Tax Plan Proposed — The proposal repeals the student loan interest deduction — a policy that helped more than 12 million students with education loans save up to $2,500 on their tax bills in 2015. Taxpayers aren’t required to itemize their deductions to claim it, but it’s available to anyone paying interest on either private or public student loans and makes less than $80,000 in a year. Many of those student loan holders are recent medical school graduates, who make a median $54,600 in their first year of residency, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
No More IPAB? — The House voted Thursday to abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a federal panel that was intended to find ways to curb Medicare spending with little Congressional oversight. It was a creation of the ACA, yet the IPAB’s presidentially-appointed members were never named. The bill now moves to the Senate where Republicans may have difficulty finding the necessary votes to pass it as a stand-alone bill before the end of the year.