Obamacare And Cobra Money
With surprisingly little fanfare, the legislation includes some of the biggest changes to the Affordable Care Act since President Barack Obama signed it in 2010.
The bill boosts subsidies for customers who buy insurance through the ACA, lowering premiums across the board and outright eliminating them on benchmark plans for people making under 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
For the first time, people making over 400 percent of the federal poverty level can qualify for federal help, as well, with their premiums capped at 8.5 percent of income. The new subsidies are for only two years Democrats are likely to try to extend them.
The federal government would also cover a larger share of Medicaid expenses if states that haven’t expanded the program through the ACA choose to do so now. Twelve states have opted out of Medicaid expansion. It’s unclear whether their governors and legislatures will take up the offer.
Outside of the ACA changes, people who have left jobs during the pandemic and want to maintain their existing employer insurance can get 100 percent of their premiums subsidized through COBRA, the law that allows workers to carry over their work plans.
Stimulus And Relief Package : The American Rescue Plan
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, implementing a $1.9 trillion package of stimulus and relief proposals. Some facets of the plan, such as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, were excluded to pass the plan using budget reconciliation, a Senate procedure that allows bills to be passed using a simple majority.
Roughly $350 billion of the total funding will go to state and local governments. The key points of the plan as it was passed are the following:
Aid To State And Local Governments
The bill includes $350bn for fiscal aid to states and cities and tribal governments to cover extra costs and revenue shortfalls incurred during the pandemic. The revised Senate bill seeks to limit how the funds are used, prohibits bailouts of public pension funds and assures smaller states will get their fair share of the funding.
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How Much Will I Get
If you are eligible to receive an economic stimulus package cash payment, the amount youll receive is based on your adjusted gross income on your 2018 or 2019 tax return.
Heres a breakdown of how much you can expect to receive:
- Individuals earning less than $75,000 per year will get the full $1,200
- Couples earning less than $150,000 per year will receive $2,400
- Heads of household earning less than $112,500 per year will receive $1,200
- Families will receive $500 for every dependent child under the age of 17
Payments are reduced by $5 for each $100 over these thresholds until the limits outlined above are reached.
You can use this online calculator to work out how much youre entitled to receive.
You Could Get A Third Stimulus Check
The package provides for a third round of stimulus checks, formally called Economic Impact Payments, in the amount of $1,400 per person .
The IRS will calculate the stimulus amounts based off of peoples 2019 or, if theyve already filed, their 2020 tax returns. The checks are tied to adjusted gross income, which is your income after deductions like retirement plan contributions. Single filers who earn $75,000 or less and couples earning $150,000 or less qualify for the full payments. Over those income thresholds, the amount decreases, zeroing out at $80,000 .
Americans who qualify will also receive $1,400 per dependent, a category that includes not only children but also college students and adult dependents. This is a departure from the previous stimulus payments, which left out dependents age 17 and over.
These $1,400 payments, combined with the $600 checks distributed in January, are meant to reach the $2,000 sum promised by the Biden administration. They come about a year after the CARES Act first approved $1,200 payments to help people through the pandemic last spring.
As far as the timeline for the third stimulus check, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is focused like a laser on making sure the aid gets out as quickly as possible.
Funding For Vaccines And Nursing Homes
The legislation sets aside nearly $70 billion for a range of public health measures, including $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines, $8 billion for vaccine distribution and an additional $20 billion to help states continue their test-and-trace programs.
The bill also allows a federal program that insures mortgages for nursing homes to dole out emergency loans aimed at helping hard-hit elder care centers.
Fourth Stimulus Check Amount
The fourth stimulus check amount depends on several factors. If passed, it would probably look similar to the previous checks, although that’s not guaranteed.
For reference, the first stimulus check amounted to as much as $1,200, while the second stimulus check brought $600 to eligible Americans. The third stimulus check, which the IRS is still in the process of distributing, is worth up to $1,400 per person, although the eligibility requirements are narrower.
All three checks gave the full amounts to taxpayers who made up to $75,000 a year, according to their most recent tax returns. Couples filing jointly got the full payment if they had a joint total income of $150,000 or less.
With the first two checks, those making up to $99,000 alone or $198,000 as a couple received prorated payments. With the third check, individuals who earned more than $80,000 per year or $160,000 per year as joint filers got nothing. Our guide to the stimulus check calculator can show you what your own eligibility looks like.
What Didnt Make It: $15 Minimum Wage
President Joe Bidens initial plan called for increasing the national minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, more than doubling the current rate and increasing wages for an estimated 27 million workers. But the controversial proposal lacked support among key moderate Democrats in the Senate.
Last month, the Senate parliamentarian ordered the wage rise be removed from the bill. She said it did not meet the guidelines necessary to be included under the budget process Democrats plan to use to advance the aid package.
AZ: In the end, it was the Senate parliamentarian who killed the minimum wage increase, ruling that it would take 60 votes to pass. At the moment, just isnt that kind of support in the Senate for a $15 wage or among Democrats to overrule the parliamentarian but the door is still open to a compromise on a lower minimum outside of the Covid relief package.
Republican support: 1/5
When Could The Covid
The stimulus package is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, but it faces several key hurdles. Over the next week, it must clear several key panels in the House before it can pass the full House with a simple majority vote.
The House Budget Committee passed the bill Monday along partisan lines with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed. Democrats can’t afford to lose more than a handful of their members since they have only a 10-seat advantage in the House and a swing of five members on the floor would kill the bill.
Republicans objected to several aspects of the bill, including its increase of the national debt, the $350 billion to help cash-strapped state and local governments, and an increase of the federal hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2025.
The bill now heads to the House Rules Committee for consideration later in the week where it is also expected to win approval before heading to the full floor for consideration.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., has told lawmakers to expect the House to vote on it later in the week.
If the bill passes the House, it would then go to the Senate, where it would face a more complicated process. The chamber could amend the bill, which would send it back to the House for another vote.
Democrats aim to pass the whole package by mid-March, when a federal boost to unemployment benefits expires.
Signed Into Law And Signing Statement
A few hours after the House passed the bill, it was signed into law by President Trump.
In a signing statement, Trump suggested he could gag the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery insofar as his constitutional powers as president enabled him to block the SIGPR’s reports to Congress. According to The New York Times, the statement was consistent with Trump’s “history of trying to keep damaging information acquired by an inspector general from reaching Congress”.
Part of the CARES act set aside $8 billion to federally-recognized “tribal governments”. The Treasury Department earmarked about $500 million of those funds to go towards Alaska Native corporations , which provided similar governance as typical tribal leadership in the lower 48 states. Three native Indian tribes sued on the basis that under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 , ANCs were not federally-recognized tribal governments and should not be eligible for CARES funds. The case was eventually heard by the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in June 2021 that ANCs did qualify as tribal governments under the ISDA, and thus eligible to receive the set-aside funds.
$600 Direct Individual Payments And $300/week Unemployment Benefits
On Dec. 21, 2020, Congress approved a 2,124-page, $2.3 trillion funding package consisting of a $900 billion end-of-the-year COVID-19 stimulus bill attached to a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the government through Sept. 30, 2021. After a delay, former President Donald Trump signed the bill six days later.
The CAA stimulus legislation included $300 per week in additional jobless benefits, direct payments of $600 to individuals, $325 billion in small business loans, more than $80 billion for schools, and $69 billion for vaccine development and deployment. Below are the details on what the CAA legislation included.
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Fund The Plan Through Higher Taxes For High
The funding for these infrastructure programs also represents a move away from the previous Trump administration, whose 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act slashed corporate taxes and lowered individual taxes, as well as greatly increasing the estate tax exemption.
The Biden administration wants to fund the American Jobs Plan, which would invest about $2 trillion this decade, through its “Made In America” Corporate Tax Plan, which would increase taxes for large corporations.
Funding for the American Families Plan would come through increasing the top marginal tax rate for high-income individuals and families, returning it to its 39.6%, pre-2017 level, as well as raising the long-term capital gains rate for those earning over $1 million to 39.6% and instituting greater enforcement from the Internal Revenue Service. It also proposes reform in estate taxes, including the “step up in basis” for gains in excess of $1 million. The carried interest loophole that benefits hedge-fund partners and the like-kind exchange real-estate tax break would also be eliminated under the plan.
If I Receive A Stimulus Check Will It Affect My Tax Refund
In short, no.
Even though the IRS is distributing the stimulus check through the tax system, its not a tax refund. This means youll still receive your full tax refund each year.
So, how does the stimulus check work?
Well, the stimulus checks are technically a new type of refundable tax credit. That means these payments are an advance on the this new tax credit that will appear on the tax return you file in 2021 for 2020.
In other words, the IRS isnt giving you an advance on your standard tax refund. Instead, its giving you an advance on this new, special tax credit only.
And if you owe taxes right now, youre still entitled to receive a stimulus check.
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Community Infrastructure $707 Billion
The plan proposes a $111 billion investment in clean drinking water, with $45 billion used to replace lead pipes and service lines. Other upgrades would include wastewater and stormwater systems, tackling contaminants in water systems, and providing reliable water infrastructure in rural areas.
A proposal to cover 100% of the country with high-speed broadband service would cost $100 billion if fully enacted. The administration hopes to use this investment to promote transparency and competition among Internet providers.
Another $100 billion would be spent to update the countrys electric grid. The administration points to blackouts in Texas this past winter to highlight the need for this investment. The funds would be used to build high-voltage transmission lines, offer tax credits to those who adopt renewable power and carbon capture projects, and plug abandoned oil and gas wells and abandoned mines.
Bidens proposal would invest $213 billion in housing and other buildings, including the building and retrofitting of two million homes to improve public housing. The project would also include building and modernizing schools, childcare centers, community colleges, and VA hospitals. The White House promotes the plan as a way to mobilize union trade workers and provide jobs. This proposal would also eliminate exclusionary zoning laws that the administration says inflate housing and construction costs.
No $15 Minimum Wage Increase Right Now
Senate Democrats jettisoned a provision in the relief bill to boost the minimum wage, after the Senate parliamentarian, who determines which items can and can’t be included in the bill under a technique known as budget reconciliation, determined that the provision fell outside of guidelines. Proponents will look to include the $15 hourly rate in another bill.
“If any Senator believes this is the last time they will cast a vote on whether or not to give a raise to 32 million Americans, they are sorely mistaken,” Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted March 5. “We’re going to keep bringing it up, and we’re going to get it done because it is what the American people demand and need.”
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Are $2000 Monthly Stimulus Checks Possible
In response to President Biden’s American Jobs Plan proposal, a group of 21 senators on March 30 sent a letter urging the inclusion of stimulus checks in the legislation. The group called for recurring payments as long as the pandemic lockdown continued, meaning people would get monthly checks from the government. No amount for the payments was specified.
We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan, wrote the group, which consisted of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and others.
An earlier stimulus check proposal, put forward during the early days of the American Rescue Plan in late January, also suggested monthly payments until the pandemic is over, but did not mention an amount. However, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, tweeted earlier in January that she wanted to see $2,000 per month.
If that amount sounds familiar, it’s because now-Vice President Kamala Harris threw her support behind $2,000 recurring checks during the negotiations for the second stimulus check legislation in the summer of 2020.
The proposal has also gained plenty of support outside of Congress: Six online petitions calling for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks until the end of the pandemic have been posted. The biggest petition, on Change.org, has been signed by more than 2.8 million people and has a stated goal of reaching 3 million.
Prize For Retaining Payroll
What they got: Businesses would get a tax credit for keeping idled workers on their payrolls during the coronavirus pandemic, so long as the businesses meet certain criteria. They would get a refund for half of what they spend on wages, up to $5,000 per worker.
Why it matters: To qualify, businesses have to prove they took a 50 percent loss compared to the same quarter in years past. And to keep companies from double-dipping on aid under the bill, employers wont be able to get special SBA loans if they opt for the tax credit.
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How Much Does The Third Stimulus Check Pay
The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan includes a third round of $1,400 stimulus payments, topping off the $600 checks that were , and adding up to $2,000.
Congress passed the coronavirus relief plan with targeted income limits for maximum stimulus payments to individual taxpayers earning under $75,000 and joint filers making up to $150,000. But whereas the first and second rounds of stimulus payments phased out checks on a sliding scale of $5 for every $100 over the income limit, the new plan cuts off high earners at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples.
Eligibility for the third stimulus checks is based on your tax filing status. For more information on who qualifies for a third stimulus check, our tables below will help you calculate different payment options.
Aid To Airlines: $58 Billion
What they got: Airlines would receive $29 billion in grants, and $29 billion in loans and loan guarantees, as well as a reprieve from paying three of their major excise taxes on the price of a ticket, the fuel tax and a cargo tax. That funding comes with strings, though no stock buybacks, and limits on executive compensation, to start. Half the funds would go toward the continuation of payment of employee wages, salaries, and benefits while the other half would go to loans and loan guarantees for passenger airlines, repair stations and ticket agents subject to conditions.
Why it matters: This is the amount that the industry sought. The bill doesnt include some conditions that Democrats wanted, like commitments to cutting emissions. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA cheered the bill, saying the grants in particular would save hundreds of thousands of jobs.
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