Tax Reform

What’s New?

  • President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 on December 22, 2017.   The bill will go into effect on January 1, 2018 but most individuals won’t feel the effects of tax reform until spring 2019, when they file taxes for 2018.
  • On December 20 in an early morning, party-line vote, the Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (51-48).  Due to technical changes, the House cast a second vote (224-201)  which allows the legislation to go to the President for his signature.
  • On December 19, the House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (227-203).  All seven Republican members of Illinois’ delegation supported the bill.
  • This summary provides a brief history of how the bill moved through the process:
    • During the week of December 4th, House and Senate conferees were assigned to reconcile the differences between the two versions of the tax reform bill.
    • Early morning on December 2, the Senate approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 by a vote 51-49 with Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding vote.  The bill must now be reconciled with the House version before being sent to President Trump for his signature.
    • On November 28, the Senate Budget Committee voted 12-11 along party lines to approve the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, a bill to reform the tax code, which includes a provision to repeal enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that most individuals have health insurance.
    • On November 17, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation to revise the tax code which includes a provision to repeal enforcement of the ACA mandate for individual insurance.
    • On November 16, the House of Representatives passed its version of legislation to reform the tax code. The House Ways and Means Committee had passed it on November 9 on a party-line vote, 24-16.

What’s the issue?

  • Simplifying the tax code has long been a campaign promise for those who have advocated for a flatter, less complicated system.
  • In the last election, Republicans promised tax reform that would reduce the tax burden and simplify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code without adding to the debt.
  • The goal is to lower tax rates, end tax breaks and create a leaner, clearer and more efficient tax code that raised the same amount of revenue.

Why does it matter?

  • The reconciled legislation includes the following provisions, among others, that impact Presence Health and our communities:
    • Repeals of the individual mandate to have health insurance
    • Lowers the threshold for taxpayer’s medical expense deductions from 10% to 7.5% for two years (2017-18)
    • Amends tax code to prevent hospitals from engaging in advance refundings of outstanding tax-exempt bonds
    • Elimination of tax-exemption for private activity bonds, including qualified 501(c) (3) bonds which are used to provide low-cost financing to hospitals
  • The bill ultimately did not include changes to tax-exemption for private-activity bonds that
  • Congress is using budget reconciliation, which is a legislative process that allows expedited passage of certain budgetary legislation on spending, revenues and the federal debt limit, because it only requires a simple majority vote.

What is the AMITA Health Perspective?

  • AMITA Health fundamentally believes in access to health care. AMITA Health believes that everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, deserves access to health care to live a full and productive life. We oppose any policy changes that would impact coverage gains made under the ACA that have provided many in Illinois with the coverage they need to proactively seek care. We don’t believe that 13 million Americans should lose coverage.
  • We are called to be a voice for the voiceless. The values of dignity and justice call our our faith-based health system to advocate for those who do not have a voice and to fight for social justice.  Our tax system should not balance benefits for the wealthy by ending programs that help pull struggling families out of poverty.

Featured News

Featured news includes articles from multiple viewpoints and is designed to keep you abreast of the current debate. This information should not be construed as our point of view.

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