Senate cancels the first two weeks of August recess to continue work on the Senate health care bill. To win Republican moderates, Senate GOP leaders are now planning on keeping Obamacare taxes on the wealthy (investment income and Medicaid surtax) to order to help more low-income people get insurance.
Those two tax increases generate nearly $231 billion in revenue over a decade, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Leaving them in place could create a way to cover the costs of expanded Medicaid coverage for the poor or other programs demanded by holdout moderate Republicans.
“Obviously that’s a direction I think that a lot of our members want to move, to keep some of those in place and use the revenues to put into other places in the bill where it can make a difference,” John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Senate Republican, said Tuesday.
Asked if GOP leadership will move forward with the vote even if they lack the 50 senators needed to secure passage of the legislation, (Wyoming Senator John) Barrasso said, “I’m convinced that there’ll be a vote next week to move to get on the bill.”