Affordable Care Act signs up 540,000 in first week of open enrollment—how much of the law will the Senate vote to repeal next week? The Department of Health and Human Services released preliminary enrollment numbers yesterday, noting a “solid start.” Senate Republicans aren’t yet sure how far to go in their effort to repeal the law. The leadership wants to dump as much as it can, but some GOP senators want to preserve its expansion of Medicaid. Meanwhile, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid says the majority can only make “tailored changes” to the bill through reconciliation.
Could we have a three-page tax code? Maybe. But we might not want one. In this week’s GOP debate, Carly Fiorina called for a three-page tax code. But TPC’s Howard Gleckman says she might watch what she wishes for. In a complex business world, a three-page statute would lead to thousands of pages of clarifying regulations, and increase the clout of the Treasury and IRS.
The International Diabetes Federation would like the G20 to tax sugar. The federation represents of over 230 national organizations and says most countries spend between five and 20 percent of their healthcare budgets treating diabetes. If sugar were taxed, the G20 economically advanced nations could save lives and reduce their medical costs, the IDF says. Maybe, as Donald Marron explains, but not necessarily.
In Illinois, an end to an EDGE. The Economic Development for a Growing Economy program, established in 1999, was supposed to boost job growth and improve the state’s ability to compete with other states. But at least 37 companies got millions of dollars in tax breaks for hiring people in one location while firing far more in another. GOP Governor Bruce Rauner will end the tax break, saying he wants to ensure a more fiscally responsible approach to the way future tax credits are awarded.
Will Congress tackle its biggest corporate tax issues next year? Marketwatch talked with analysts about the prospects for “tax extenders” and international tax reform. PWC’s Rohit Kumar, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, thinks Congress will renew expired tax breaks this year, perhaps for two years. Corporate tax reform may be another matter, says TPC’s Steve Rosenthal: “Everyone agrees the current situation is broken in terms of encouraging US multinationals to allow their earnings to pile up offshore. It’s a question of whether we want to do something about that.”
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