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Taxpayers Tab


Taxpayer's Tab Issue #15

June 27, 2012

 

 

 

Vol. 3 Issue 15 June 27, 2012

 

Welcome to The Taxpayer's Tab -- the weekly newsletter for up-to-the-minute research from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation's BillTally Project. For more information, check out NTUF's BillTally Project and our partner, WashingtonWatch.com!

 

Legislative Spotlight: Health Care Reform Alternatives

In 2010, voters frustrated by runaway government spending, government bailouts of Wall Street and the auto industry, and the government takeover of the health care system catapulted House Republicans into the majority based on their promises of fiscal responsibility and willingness to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care (PPACA), also known as Obamacare. As the legal challenges to PPACA worked their way through the court system, Members of the 112th Congress introduced a number of bills that would repeal, replace, or even expand the law. With the Supreme Court's ruling expected tomorrow, NTUF looks at the options legislators have offered should the law be upheld or overturned, whether in whole or in part.

Brent Kendall and Peter Landers writing in The Wall Street Journal discuss the Court's potential verdicts: The Court could declare the entire law unconstitutional. Conversely, the statute could be upheld and the Court could decide that the entire law is constitutional. The Court could also choose to strike down select portions of the law while accepting other provisions. This outcome may occur even though PPACA lacks a severability clause -- severability would allow the legislation to take effect even though certain portions of it are found to be unconstitutional.

While the House passed H.R. 2, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, on January 19th by a vote of 245-189, NTUF has identified eight other bills that would also repeal PPACA. NTUF estimates that seven of those bills, as well as H.R. 2, would save taxpayers $40.3 billion annually. The bills are highlighted in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Legislation to Repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(in billions of dollars)
Bill Number
Sponsor
Number of Cosponsors
Annualized Cost

H.R. 2

Eric Cantor (R-VA) 182 ($40.3)
H.R. 127 Tom Graves (R-GA) 65 ($40.3)
H.R. 141 Steve King (R-IA) 2 ($40.3)
H.R. 145 Connie Mack (R-FL) 1 ($40.3)
H.R. 215 Don Young (R-AK) 0 ($40.3)
H.R. 429 Darrell Issa (R-CA) 0 Unknown
H.R. 698 Tim Scott (R-SC) 0 ($40.3)
S. 16 David Vitter (R-LA) 0 ($40.3)
S. 192 Jim DeMint (R-SC) 47 ($40.3)
Source: NTUF BillTally System

Table 2, below, highlights those bills that would not only repeal PPACA but also replace it with other health insurance reforms. NTUF has been able to estimate the savings of three of the bills in Table 2. One would save more than H.R. 2 and the straight forward repeal bills. Two would save slightly less. NTUF has not been able to score the other four.

Table 2. Legislation to Repeal and Replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(in billions of dollars)
Bill Number Sponsor Number of Cosponsors Annualized Cost
H.R. 299 Paul Broun (R-GA) 1 Unknown
H.R. 364 Tom Lantham (R-IA) 0 ($42.3)
H.R. 371 Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) 152 ($30.9)
H.R. 397 Wally Herger (R-CA) 17 ($34.6)
H.R. 636 Kay Granger (R-TX) 0 Unknown
H.R. 3682 Sean Duffy (R-WI) 0 Unknown
H.R. 4224 Paul Broun (R-GA) 0 Unknown
Source: NTUF BillTally System

It is important to note that 25 additional bills would amend or remove select PPACA provisions. For example, H.R. 452, the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act of 2011, would rescind the Independent Payment Advisory Board's authority to reduce Medicare costs. H.R. 1370 would repeal the annual fee imposed on health insurance providers by PPACA. You can see all of the health care-related bills that NTUF has identified here.

If the Court overturns PPACA, Congress could turn to one of four universal health care bills. These bills, highlighted in Table 3, could increase annual federal spending anywhere from $500 billion to $1.2 trillion.

Table 3. Legislation to Build Upon or Expand the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(in billions of dollars)
Bill Number Sponsor Number of Cosponsors Annualized Cost
H.R. 191 Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) 75 $0.5
H.R. 676 John Conyers (D-MI) 76 $1,157
H.R. 1200 Jim McDermott (D-WA) 11 $796.7
S. 915 Bernard Sanders (I-VT) 0 $796.7
Source: NTUF BillTally System

If portions of PPACA are upheld, legislators could use these bills to expand government control of the health care system. The costs of the bills would vary depending upon which provisions would be expanded or added to the PPACA statute.

It is something of an understatement to say that PPACA has been controversial. Regardless of the Court's ruling tomorrow, the case's legal ramifications will likely force Congress to return to the issue of health care reform and health insurance in the near future.

To learn more or discuss these bills visit WashingtonWatch.com.


   

Save the Date!

NTUF is hosting a birthday party in Alexandria, Virginia, to commemorate the late economist Milton Friedman on July 31st. More details to come!


Support NTUF

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation is able to produce timely reports and analysis for policymakers and taxpayers with the help and support of foundations, small businesses, and Americans -- like you --who wish to stay informed of their government's spending.

With donations from Tab subscribers and members, NTUF will be able to continue to inform taxpayers about entitlement reform, the federal budget, and proposed legislation.

Please consider making a tax-deductable contribution to NTUF.


 

We Want You!

NTUF is looking for fall and winter associate policy analysts to participate in our internship program. Associates assist with BillTally research and other policy projects. Academic credit is possible. Email questions to ntuf@ntu.org. To apply visit our internship page. Join us and help keep a tab on Congress!


Missed an Issue?

Issue 14 - June 20
Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act

Issue 13 - June 15
Prepare All Kids Act

Issue 12 - June 8
Student Success Act

Issue 11 - May 31
Tariff & Duties Suspension Spotlight Edition

Issue 10 - May 11
College Tax Cut Extension Act



About NTUF

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation is a research and educational organization dedicated solely to helping citizens of all generations understand how tax policies, spending programs, and regulations at all levels affect them now and in the future. Through NTUF's timely information, analysis, and commentary, we're empowering citizens to actively engage in the fiscal policy debate and hold public officials accountable every day.

NTUF is a 501(c)(3) research and education organization. Donations are deductible for personal income tax purposes. Please make a donation today to help further NTUF's mission of research and education!

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation or as a comment on any Member's fitness to serve.

 

 



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