Senate to use tax plan to repeal health care mandate

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 10:49:44 AM. The Republicans are trying to solve two problems at once. They have long sought to repeal the Obamacare requirement that most people buy insurance. Doing so would free up money to pay for the tax bill.
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans have decided to include the repeal of the Affordable Care Act's requirement that most people have health insurance into the sprawling tax rewrite, merging the fight over health care with the high-stakes effort to cut taxes. The move to tuck the repeal of the so-called individual mandate into the tax overhaul is an attempt by Republicans to solve two problems: math and politics. Repealing the mandate, a long-standing Republican goal, would save hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. That would free up money that could be used to expand middle-class tax cuts or help pay for the overall cost of the bill, which can add no more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. It could also help secure the votes of the most conservative senators, enabling lawmakers to pass the bill along party lines. If it becomes law, the repeal would save more than $300 billion over a decade but result in 13 million fewer Americans being covered by health insurance by the end of that period, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Republicans said on Tuesday that they would use the savings — which stem from reduced government spending to subsidize health coverage — to pay for an expansion of the middle-class tax cuts that lawmakers had proposed. On Tuesday evening, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, was expected to release an amendment that would add the repeal of the mandate to the Senate's tax plan. On the...Read more
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