GOP senator wants to keep key ObamaCare taxes

GOP senator wants to keep key ObamaCare taxes
© Greg Nash

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsOPINION | GOP healthcare attack is a vendetta against President Obama Rand Paul opens door to backing healthcare bill on key hurdle The Memo: Trump tries to bend Congress to his will MORE (R-Maine) said Tuesday that her Republican colleagues should be careful about repealing ObamaCare taxes that could be used to pay for a new healthcare reform bill.

Republican negotiators are looking at repealing taxes on individuals earning over $200,000 and couples earning $250,000 as part of their effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

But doing so could reduce revenues by as much as $275 billion over 10 years and make it difficult to pay for subsidies to help older, low-income Americans afford health insurance.

Collins, who is seen as a potential swing vote in the GOP conference on healthcare, is concerned about keeping those subsidies, particularly for rural constituents.

While Collins believes that ObamaCare taxes that increase the cost of healthcare — such as a tax on durable medical goods — should be repealed, others should be kept in place to pay for new reforms, she said.

“There are some of the taxes that were used for ObamaCare that we should look at because, for example, they may drive up the cost of healthcare, such as the tax on durable medial equipment, but we cannot take away all of the sources of funding for the [Affordable Care Act] and expect to be able to come up with a bill that’s going to provide the kind of coverage that we would like to see,” Collins said.

“We’ve got to have some pay-fors,” she added.

Collins noted that legislation she has sponsored with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) would leave the ObamaCare revenue streams intact.

Cassidy endorsed keeping in place ObamaCare taxes on high-income earners during an interview with late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel Friday.

Kimmel suggested paying for a healthcare system that guarantees medical care for families regardless of their ability to afford it by not “giv[ing] a huge tax cut to millionaires like me and instead leave it how it is.”

Cassidy urged Kimmel “to tell the American people to call their senator and endorse that concept.”