GOP Senators Comment on Adding Repeal of Insurance Mandate to Tax Bill
Republican senators are planning on adding a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate to the tax reform package.
GOP members of the Senate Finance Committee met Monday night to discuss the issue, Republican aides said. The full Senate Republican caucus will discuss the idea at its lunch meeting on Tuesday, and sources said a decision could be made as soon as Tuesday.
A Senate GOP aide said repeal of the mandate could be included in an updated tax-reform bill being released later Tuesday.
"Republican senators are discussing pairing the repeal of the individual mandate with an overhaul of the tax code and using the revenue to provide more relief for middle-class families," the aide said. "This is something that is under consideration to be included in the chairman’s modified mark, though no final decisions have been made."
Republican leaders had been doing a whip count to see if there is enough support in the caucus for repealing the mandate.
Sources said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) was one of the senators pushing for mandate repeal at the meeting Monday night.
Asked about the meeting, Toomey told The Hill he would not comment on particular discussions. He added, "I've long been an advocate for repealing the individual mandate through whatever vehicle makes sense."
Including the repeal of the mandate could help Republicans pay for their tax bill by saving more than $300 billion over 10 years. But the Congressional Budget Office also projects that 13 million more people would be uninsured and premiums would rise if the penalty for not having insurance were scrapped.
What planet is the CBO living on? The premiums have been skyrocketing with the mandate. Now they're supposed to go up if it's repealed?
There is still a chance that some scaredy cat senators will balk at repealing the mandate because the number of uninsured will go up, which looks bad to some voters. In fact, those who drop insurance will be younger, healthier Americans who didn't want insurance in the first place. A repeal of Obamacare would solve their problem because insurance companies would be able to offer plans specifically tailored to those who don't need all those coverage mandates, making the plans much cheaper.
Getting rid of the tyrannical individual mandate is a good start.