Achieving a Better Life Experience Act Act Clears House Ways and Means Committee

The House Ways and Means Committee marked up the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) last week.  The bill has significant bi-partisan support in the House and Senate and the lead sponsors are hopeful it can clear Congress in the early fall.  The ABLE Act would create tax-favored savings accounts for people with disabilities that would not count toward the $2,000 individual asset limits that apply to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid programs.  To address cost concerns, the scope of the bill was significantly narrowed from the legislation that was introduced in 2013.  Among the changes are a cap on contributions at $14,000 a year; requiring that individuals open accounts in their home state or with a state which contracts with their home state; limiting individuals to only one ABLE account; and limiting the availability of ABLE accounts to people who acquire the disability before age 26.  The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimated the new bill to cost about $2 billion over 10 years and a new estimate by the Congressional Budget Office is expected soon.  During the mark-up, Chairman Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Levin (D-MI) discussed their commitment to work over the August recess to find “pay-fors” acceptable to both sides in order to allow the bill to move quickly following Labor Day.  For more information please see the materials provided by the JCT.