Senate GOP to add amendment to gut Affordable Care Act in tax bill

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 09:41:25 AM. Senate GOP leaders are adding a provision to their tax bill that would undermine the Affordable Care Act, a major change of strategy.
Senate Republican leaders said Tuesday that they would seek a repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate through their tax bill, a major change of strategy as they try to accomplish two of their top domestic priorities in a single piece of legislation. Repealing the mandate, which compels most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine, would free up more than $300 billion in government funding over the next decade that Republicans could use to finance their proposed tax cuts, but it would result in 13 million fewer people having health insurance, according to projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO has also projected that repealing the individual mandate would drive up insurance premiums for many Americans by roughly 10 percent. The injection of health policy into the tax debate introduces a volatile variable into what was already a challenging political enterprise for Republicans. And it's unclear whether it will help or hurt the bill's chances. By freeing up hundreds of billions of dollars, Senate leaders have more flexibility as they attempt to assuage the concerns of anxious members from across their caucus. Senate GOP leadership has come under pressure to boost the tax plan's benefits for the middle class as nonpartisan projections have shown that the wealthy and big corporations would benefit most. At the same time, leaders are struggling to ensure that the legislation does not add too much to the budget deficit in the...Read more
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