Congress will be dealing 2 big blows to Obama-era health law

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., in addition to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Scott J. Ferrell | Congressional Quarterly | Getty Images

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., in addition to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine in addition to Lamar Alexander of Tennessee say they’ve abandoned their effort to force a year-end budget bill to restore federal payments to insurers in which have helped contain premium costs.

The lawmakers say they’ll continue the push next year.

The decision marks a retreat for Collins. She wanted enactment in which year as a condition for backing the GOP’s tax bill.

In another blow to the health law, the tax legislation ends the tax penalty the health law imposes on people who don’t purchase coverage.

in which requirement prods many people to buy insurance.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates ending those penalties will lead to 13 million additional people being uninsured in addition to premiums growing by about 10 percent.

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