The White House is backing a plan that would give a tax break to small businesses that buy insurance on the individual market, but Republicans are urging the bill to be stripped from the final bill.
The proposal would help small businesses who are struggling to pay for coverage, but the White House on Thursday called it “outrageous” and “simply unacceptable.”
The bill would give companies a deduction for insurance premiums that exceed the cost of providing it, but it would only apply to companies that are not “exclusively affiliated with a specific health plan” or are “owned or operated by individuals.”
The White House said the deduction is meant to help small employers who don’t make large contributions to the federal government.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case.
The White White House pointed to a recent analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that found that nearly 60 percent of small businesses would be eligible to get the tax break.
It also pointed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office saying that the Senate would vote on the measure before Thanksgiving if it doesn’t include a provision that would provide an exemption for small businesses.
The White Houses office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the House would follow suit.
A number of Senate Democrats are expected to introduce a bill Thursday that would offer a similar tax break for small employers.
The White house also signaled that it would oppose a provision in the House bill that would allow the deduction for health insurance premiums paid by small businesses, which would help pay for the subsidies for insurance on federal exchanges.
President Donald Trump signed a waiver Friday for the health care law that allows people with income between $95,000 and $200,000 to deduct health insurance costs from their taxes.
The provision is opposed by many GOP senators.
Trump has repeatedly expressed support for the tax credit for small business.
The GOP plan would have eliminated it, and the White Houses health care plan does not allow for it.
The Senate health care proposal would also allow a deduction on the federal payroll tax that goes to people who are married and file jointly.
The House bill would not.
The president has not publicly weighed in on the Senate bill, which is expected to pass the House.
The Senate bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate that people obtain health insurance and allow employers to opt out of the mandate.