WASHINGTON — Republicans may be handing wealthy Americans a big tax cut by repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to a study released Thursday that spells out potential economic pitfalls behind the election-year slogans.

The richest households – those with incomes above $3.7 million – would get an average tax cut of about $197,000, said the analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The windfall would come mainly from the repeal of taxes the Affordable Care Act aimed at upper-income earners, including an investment tax and a Medicare levy.

The study comes as Republican lawmakers and aides start grappling with the complexity of unraveling the 2010 law, which touches most major players in the $3 trillion health care industry.

While Republicans plan to take just a few months next year to pass legislation dismantling the law, that “repeal” may not actually take complete effect for up to four years, top House Republican aides told reporters Thursday. Congress would need the time to pass replacement legislation and work out a smooth transition.

The Tax Policy Center study did not consider the impact of replacement legislation, so its look at potential winners and losers is preliminary.

President-elect Donald Trump andRepublican congressional leaders have promised to replace “Obamacare” with a conservative-tinged version that provides access to affordable coverage for all Americans. Details of that plan are unavailable, but it’s bound to affect the final bottom line.

The “repeal” part of the Republican promise would definitely have one-sided consequences, said Gordon Mermin, a researcher who conducted the study.

“This is a change that helps high-income folks more than everyone else,” said Mermin.


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