The main objection for Democrats was the Republican proposal to pay for this change — by increasing the amount of health insurance subsidies that could be recaptured in cases where a family's income exceed certain thresholds. Democrats argued that this amounts to a tax hike, while Republicans said it is a repeal of a subsidy, and noted that Democrats supported a similar change in legislation late last year.
The debate was punctuated by a request by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) to strike the words of Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOvernight Finance: Biz groups endorse Trump's Labor pick | New CBO score coming before health bill vote | Lawmakers push back on public broadcasting cuts Dem, GOP lawmakers push back against Trump’s cuts to public broadcasting Trump: Mar-a-Lago 'most convenient' place to hold VA meeting MORE (D-Ore.), who said Republican claims that last year's healthcare law is a government takeover of healthcare as the "political lie of the year." Lungren did not say those words, and Blumenauer apologized, but did say that so many Republicans make this claim that "sometimes I get confused."
Near the end of the debate, Democrats offered a motion to recommit the bill to make several substantive changes, but this was rejected by Republicans.
Then, at the very end of the debate, Democrats tried one last time to stop the bill by raising a point of order saying that the bill would increase taxes. Republican rules hold that bills raising taxes must be approved by three-fifths of voting members, not a simple majority. Republicans again argued that the bill does not raise taxes, and the GOP objection was upheld.
The bill has an uncertain fate in the Senate. Senate Democrats have approved their own version of the bill, that would pay for the elimination of IRS reporting language by tapping unused federal funds.
The White House this week noted its own objections to the House bill, saying it would raise taxes and that another pay-for should be found.