There are still almost three months to go before the 2017 regular legislative session begins, but one pre-filed bill would eliminate Affordable Care Act (ACA) penalties in Louisiana.
House Bill 6, filed by Rep. Paul Hollis, would no longer require that Louisianans pay a fine if they don’t have health insurance. Currently, under the ACA’s individual shared responsibility payment, those who can purchase health insurance must pay a penalty for each month they or their immediate family members are uninsured. The IRS assesses the penalty during an individual’s annual tax filing, and it equals either 2.5 percent of household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, whichever amount is greater. There is a maximum cap for each option as well.
This isn’t the first time Rep. Hollis has taken action against the ACA. He authored six bills during the 2014 regular session, which sought to block or delay parts of the healthcare law’s implementation, and another bill in 2013. That measure, HB 429, would have created a constitutional amendment that prohibited mandatory participation in a healthcare system; it was defeated in the Louisiana House.
HB 6 comes after President Trump signed an executive order that requires federal departments and agencies to waive any ACA provisions that impose a financial burden on states or individuals.