A congressional committee released a report Tuesday found that the repeal of three Affordable Care Act taxes as part of a government spending deal would cost the government $373.3 billion over 10 years.
Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation, which is the companion of the Congressional Budget Office, analyzed the cost of repealing the three taxes from 2020-29.
The taxes were passed to help fund the Affordable Care Act's expansion, but have been repeatedly suspended and are not currently in effect. They include a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost "Cadillac" employer-sponsored health insurance plans, a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices and a tax on health insurance providers.
The repeals would cost nearly $197 billion, $25.5 billion, and $150.8 billion, respectively, over 10 years, the committee found.
The House passed a $1.4 trillion spending deal Tuesday as the first step in an effort to avert a government shutdown. The package included the repeal of the three Affordable Care Act taxes.
The repeals are a win for the health insurance and medical device industry, which have lobbied against them and the the Alliance to Fight the 40, a group of employers, insurers and others who opposed the Cadillac Tax. The Alliance to Fight the 40 said "higher costs" and "shrinking coverage" have hit families due to the "looming tax."
"Democrats are protecting the quality, affordable healthcare of millions by permanently repealing health care taxes," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement Monday on the spending deal while noting the deal blocks President Donald Trump from taking certain actions to "sabotage" the Affordable Care Act.
Still, Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive think tank, criticized proposals to repeal the taxes in a statement Tuesday.
"At a moment when policymakers should focus on reducing health costs and raising revenues to expand health coverage, this legislation repeals an important cost-reducing measure and sacrifices hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue," Greenstein said in the statement. "In addition, the agreement provides two years of additional Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the other territories, short of the four years of funding that lawmakers had previously agreed to on a bipartisan basis."
Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the right-leaning Manhattan Institute, said that the repeal of the taxes exposes "the fraud that ObamaCare was fiscally responsible and fully paid for," in a Twitter post.