House on tap to repeal 1099 healthcare provision next week

The House is tentatively scheduled next week to consider and approve stand-alone legislation that would repeal a widely disliked provision in last year's healthcare law, according to House aides.

The bill, H.R. 705, would terminate language that requires companies to report goods and services transactions valued at $600 or more annually to the IRS.

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But the bill's approval would set up a new (though not unexpected) complication in the nearly year-long saga of how to repeal the so-called 1099 language — namely, whether the Senate can approve the same bill.

Repealing the language would mean an estimated $19 billion in lost government revenue. The House bill would pay for this by increasing the amount the government could recapture from people who participate in state health exchanges but earn too much to qualify for subsidies.

However, the Senate has already approved language that would pay for the repeal by authorizing the Office of Management and Budget to find an equal amount in unobligated funds.

Senate Democrats have so far had difficulty in finding a "pay-for" as they consider 1099 repeal, and late last year, many Democrats in the upper chamber voted to repeal the 1099 reporting requirement without paying for it at all. In the meantime, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) last week criticized the Senate-approved pay-for.

Another problem is that the Senate language is attached to the Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill, and the House bill is most likely to move on its own. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), who has led Senate efforts to repeal the language, has introduced his own repeal bill that is identical to the House language, S. 359. But it is so far unclear whether there is any appetite in the Senate for that bill, and in either case, the Senate's preoccupation with the budget may prevent action next week.