House panel to save $43.9 billion on health law subsidies

Under the budget from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that the House adopted last month, the committee is instructed to identify policies that cut the deficit by $53 billion between 2013 and 2022. Most of those savings would come from requiring people to pay back insurance subsidies if the government determined they received too much based on their income threshold.

Lawmakers have already recaptured subsidy overpayments to pay for a "doc fix" delaying scheduled cuts to Medicare physician payments and eliminate the health law's 1099 tax reporting requirement. The new recapture policy would go further, however, and require people to repay the entire amount of overpayments.

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Other deficit-cutting provisions being marked up Wednesday would require Social Security to claim child tax credit (saves $7.6 billion) and repeal social services block grants to states.


Democrats immediately decried the Social Services cuts, which they said benefit 23 million Americans including providing: 

• Child care and related assistance for 4.4 million children;

• Meals On Wheels and other home-based services for nearly 1.7 million older Americans;

• Child protective services for 1.8 million at-risk children; and

• Transportation, respite care and other services for nearly 1 million disabled individuals.

"In their zeal to cut taxes for the very wealthy, House Republicans continue to put the burden on the backs of children, the elderly and the disabled," Ways and Means ranking member Sander Levin (D-Mich.) said in a statement. "Tomorrow’s markup is another example of the ongoing Republican war on all populations, including the most vulnerable, while they seek to benefit the very wealthy."