Washington has decided to repeal one of the last hallmarks of the Obama administration to allow for more in-depth tax cuts.
Senate Republicans altered their tax cut bill so it includes a repeal of an Obamacare mandate that would bring hundreds of billions in tax cuts for Americans as well as cutting down the health care law that they have failed to dismantle in the past, according to The Washington Times.
President Trump has been one of the most vocal proponents of the idea, looking to capitalize on the $300 billion or so savings that could be realized over the next decade for the country. Although Republican leaders in Washington resisted, with little hope that any Democrats would participate in their original legislation, the GOP altered the bill to make it more appealing.
“We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Both the Democrats as well as large insurers protested the move, saying that ending the mandate will chase out the younger, healthy people out of the market. With only older, sicker customers remaining, the health care law would eventually collapse under its own weight.
“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,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).
Although Mr. Schumer predicted the bill would leave Americans dissatisfied, Republican leaders are hoping that the potential $300 billion in tax cuts, if put into the middle class, would sway some wavering senators to jump on board.
The Senate has already announced a $1.5 trillion tax cut over 10 years, with about two-thirds going to businesses and the rest going to individual taxpayers. With the proposed corporate tax rate reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent, as well as the top individual tax rate falling from 39.6 to 38.5, this additional funding from the Obamacare mandate could reduce these rates even further.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Orrin Hatch, said that this opportunity would allow Republicans to be even more ambitious with their plans.
“By scrapping this unpopular tax from an unworkable law, we not only ease the financial burdens already associated with the mandate but also generate additional revenue to provide more tax relief to … individuals,” Mr. Hatch said.
The President has urged lawmakers to end the individual mandate, tweeting on Monday, “How about ending the unfair & highly unpopular Indiv Mandate in OCare & reducing taxes even further?” Other conservatives, such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), also support the repeal.
Are you happy to see Obamacare’s mandates repealed?
John McCain (R-AZ), one of the three GOP senators who voted against the Obamacare repeal this summer, acknowledged that he might be willing to support the repeal and that it was not a deal-breaker in his eyes. “I want to see the whole package – it keeps changing as it goes through the House and Senate,” he said according to Politico. “I want regular order.”
As the Trump administration and their allies in Congress continue to find ways to save money, the last remaining vestiges of former-President Obama’s costly policies will be the first to go.