Two Committees Roll Out Mandatory Savings Package
Last week, two House Committees, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce, released a package of bills that would reduce mandatory spending. The bills, which mostly contain policies included in a 2012 sequester replacement bill, would save a combined $123 billion over ten years. The Energy and Commerce legislation will be marked up next today, and the Ways and Means Committee may act as soon as this week.
The W&M package contains three separate bills. The first would require taxpayers claiming the refundable portion of the child tax credit to provide a Social Security number, which would save $4.8 billion over two years. The second bill requires taxpayers to repay any overpayments of health insurance subsidies; current law limits repayments to $300-$1,250 for singles and $600-$2,500 for married couples who make below 400 percent of the poverty line. This policy would save $8.7 billion over two years. The third bill would eliminate the Social Services Block Grant, which would save $3 billion over two years.
The Energy and Commerce package is one bill with five different policies:
- Limiting Medicaid eligibility for lottery winners by counting winnings as income beyond the month they win.
- Eliminating enhanced Medicaid matching for prisoners.
- Reducing the Medicaid provider tax threshold, which limits how much revenue states can raise from providers to finance their Medicaid program, from 6 percent to 5.5 percent.
- Eliminating the increased matching rate for the Childrens' Health Insurance Program (CHIP) contained in the Affordable Care Act
- Eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund
|Budgetary Effect of W&M and E&C Mandatory Packages|
|Two-Year Savings||Ten-Year Savings|
|Require SSN for Refundable CTC||$4.8 billion||~$30 billion|
|Collect All Exchange Subsidy Overpayments||$8.7 billion||~$50 billion|
|Eliminate Social Services Block Grant||$3 billion||~$15 billion|
|End Medicaid for Lottery Winners||~$1 billion||$11 billion|
|Eliminate Higher Medicaid Matching for Prisoners|
|Reduce Medicaid Provider Tax Threshold|
|Eliminate CHIP Matching Increase|
|Eliminate Prevention and Public Health Fund||~$2 billion||$14 billion|
|Total||~$20 billion||$123 billion|
Sources: Ways and Means Committee, CRFB calculations
These two packages are part of the effort surrounding the Fiscal Year 2017 budget resolution to find $30 billion in savings over two years. In other words, they are small steps to address our unsustainable fiscal situation.