After a frenzy of closed-door meetings, intense lobbying and political posturing, conservative lawmakers threw up their hands Monday and declared: The negotiations surrounding the Republican health care bill are over.The acknowledgment comes just days out from an expected House vote on the GOP legislation to gut Obamacare, and puts further pressure on undecided conservatives to take an official stance on their party’s landmark proposal.Conservative senators hoping for changes to the Republican health care bill emerged from a meeting at the White House Monday afternoon disappointed, with Sen. Mike Lee describing the meeting as “terribly frustrating.”
Word on the street was that the Manager’s Amendment would contain an allocation of $75 billion in additional tax credits that the Senate could use to improve the bill’s treatment of [low-income, near-elderly individuals]. But that $75 billion is nowhere to be found in the legislative text of the Manager’s Amendment.The Manager’s Amendment reduces the income threshold for the deductibility of medical expenses from 10 percent to 5.8 percent. This, it is said, will provide $75 billion in tax relief to individuals, including near-elderly individuals, with net income tax liabilities. But tax deductions don’t benefit individuals on the low end of the income scale, who don’t have net income tax liabilities and therefore can’t take advantage of a new tax deduction. The problem can only be solved with refundable tax credits.