As Senate Republicans look for ways to increase support for their stalled health care bill, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis is willing to go along with a number of changes in the interest of getting it passed.
That could include a proposal to keep the Affordable Care Act’s investment tax to generate more revenue for Medicaid in the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act.
“I’m supportive of anything right now to get to 51 votes,” Tillis said when asked Thursday about keeping the tax.
The 3.8 percent tax applies to individuals who earn investment income from interest, dividends, capital gains, rental and royalty income, or income from financial trading — and whose incomes exceed $250,000 for a married couple filing jointly or $200,000 for an individual.
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Vice President Mike Pence met with Republican senators Thursday to help pass the bill.
Tillis did not take a position on the health care bill when it was first released last week, saying only that “any replacement plan must be a net improvement over Obamacare.”
North Carolina’s other senator, Republican Richard Burr, praised the Senate’s bill when it was first released, pointing out its benefits to North Carolinians.
But other Republican senators have expressed deep reservations about the bill, with moderates unhappy about deep cuts to Medicaid and conservatives not satisfied that the legislation does enough to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
The Congressional Budget Office said the bill would lead to 22 million more Americans lacking health insurance by 2026 than under current law. The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, said more than 1.3 million more North Carolina residents would be without insurance under the Senate bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell planned a vote on the bill this week, but was forced to delay a vote until after a July Fourth break due to Republican defections.
Brian Murphy: 202-383-6089; @MurphinDC