Senate Republicans said on Tuesday they’ll include a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate in their tax overhaul bill.
Republicans were initially worried that adding health care issues could make the tax bill politically toxic. But according to the Congressional Budget Office, the move would free up more than $300 billion of revenue over the next decade to balance out the GOP’s plan to cut taxes.
As it sits now, the GOP tax plan can only add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. Anything beyond that cap has to be repaid somewhere else — and Republicans seem to agree that Obamacare is a good place to pull from.
Well, maybe not all Republicans: Sen. Susan Collins, a repeat hold-out on Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, said she was concerned mixing tax cuts with health care legislation would cause difficulty and make the final bill more controversial. She also said repealing the mandate could cause premiums to rise.
Tax reform is seen as a must-pass for Republicans. They’re hoping to iron out a bill and get it to President Donald Trump’s desk in December.