The latest version of the bill also includes a provision that changes a definition in last year's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that determines eligibility for certain healthcare programs.
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), a nurse, sponsored a bill that the House approved last month and was then included in the the 3% withholding legislation. Currently, the law uses a formula called modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI, to determine eligibility for Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the health exchange subsidies. But MAGI excludes a portion of Social Security benefits. This adjustment would count the entire Social Security benefit.
“I am proud that my legislation that closes a costly loophole in the healthcare law has been included as part of this bipartisan jobs package," Black said in a statement. "Not only are we creating more certainty for small businesses and passing job-creating veterans tax credits, but we are protecting $13 billion in taxpayer dollars by ensuring Medicaid dollars go to those most in need. If unchanged, the healthcare law would allow middle class Americans—those making up to 400% of the poverty level—to receive federally subsidized health benefits," she continued. "My bill, now a part of this jobs package, prevents these improper payments and ensures that this important legislation is not only deficit neutral, but even gives money back to the Treasury."