Hatch: Cut health law's subsidies in tax debate

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Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will release her budget outline Wednesday. It's expected to call for more than $1 trillion in new revenue from eliminating tax breaks, but will preserve funding for the Affordable Care Act.

The health law's insurance subsidies — administered as refundable tax credits — will begin to flow next year. But by 2017, they'll be the second-biggest healthcare tax expenditure at $96 billion, Hatch said.

The ACA provides subsidies on a sliding scale, based on income, to help pay for private health insurance. The subsidies are only available to people who purchase coverage through a new insurance exchange and do not get their coverage through an employer.

The tax exclusion for employer-based healthcare benefits is the biggest expenditure in the tax code.