Obamacare

Nine years after enactment of Obamacare, the health law again takes center stage. A court in Texas ruled it invalid last December and the law’s supporters have appealed the decision. Most provisions will still apply for 2019 or until litigation is final. The case will be heard next by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and then quite possibly by the Supreme Court.

President Trump agrees with the court ruling, as evidenced by his administration’s recent court filing in the case. He first seemed to want the GOP to act fast to propose a replacement for Obamacare. However, he has backed off somewhat after facing pressure from some congressional lawmakers within his own party. He now says he’ll introduce a new health care plan after the 2020 election.

Much of the Obamacare is engrained in the tax code. Here’s a sampling:

The premium tax credit helps individuals with household incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level purchase health insurance through one of the exchanges. A proposal in Congress supported by Democrats would expand the income eligibility requirements for the credit and increase its size. It could pass the House but, without Republican support, would die in the Senate.

The employer mandate requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers but no affordable health plan to pay a tax if their employees opt to buy insurance through an exchange and get the premium tax credit. Firms with over 49 full-timers must also report health insurance data each year to both IRS and the worker.

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