If at first you don’t succeed, try to cram Obamacare repeal into your tax plan.
Senate Republicans announced Tuesday that they will add language to their tax reform bill that will repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, eliminating the penalty on those who don’t buy health insurance.
GOP leaders believe the repeal, which President Trump pushed for, will give them enough votes to pass their tax bill.
“We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the repeal will lead to 4 million more uninsured people by 2019 and 13 million more by 2027.
A nonpartisan analysis of the Senate bill determined it would increase taxes for roughly 13.8 million moderate-income American households even though Republicans claim it will help the middle class.
The bill provides deep cuts to corporate taxes, doubles the standard deduction used by most Americans and repeals the federal deduction for state and local property, income and sales taxes.
The House bill, which is expected to pass Thursday, does not currently include repeal of the mandate, which requires most people to buy insurance coverage or face a fine.
Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Tom Cotton of Arkansas had pushed for the repeal in the tax bill.
The move comes only months after GOP efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law collapsed in the Senate, in a dramatic late-night vote in which Sen. John McCain cast the decisive vote that sank the repeal plan.
McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that repealing the mandate is not a dealbreaker for this bill.
“I want to see the whole package,” he told Politico. “It keeps changing as it goes through the Houese and the Senate.”
Democrats blasted the latest move by the GOP as another way to provide cuts to corporate taxes.
“Republicans just can’t help themselves. They’re so determined to provide tax giveaways to the rich that they’re willing to raise premiums on millions of middle-class Americans and kick 13 million people off their health care,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
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