It wasn't until after a luncheon with the Senate GOP conference that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he was on board with the plan. Susan Collins of ME, who cast one of the three deciding votes against this summer's attempted "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act, said that while she is not a fan of the individual mandate and wants to see tax reform passed, she thinks mixing the two in one plan complicates things.
After an entire year of failed attempts at repealing Obamacare, Senate Republicans are now using the proposed tax plan to put all of their eggs into one basket, but will it work? If any tax plan is to be signed into law by the president, the House and Senate tax plans will eventually need to be worked into one joint proposal, and it is not yet clear if that bill would include the health care requirement.
The mandate is enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, which is supposed to assess penalties on people who do not have coverage.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, who opposed the previous Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare in July, supports the new mandate repeal.
House GOP leaders are now deciding whether to include a similar repeal of the individual mandate in their tax bill, with an announcement expected as early as the end of the week.
"What we tried to do this summer was something very different", than what is included in Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch's tax-reform proposal, Sen. Cut top rate to 35% w/all of the rest going to middle income cuts? What could the Republicans possibly be thinking in dealing with national health insurance through a tax bill?
However, many political figures take issue with the repeal, as it would leave about 13 million Americans without health insurance according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Earlier in the Senate panel's work on the bill, the Democrats complained that the bill would enable USA corporations with foreign operations and wealthy individuals and families to exploit loopholes to skirt millions in taxes. It also allows an additional $300 billion+ in tax cuts.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued, "Republicans just can't help themselves".
"I have data that demonstrates for certain middle-income individuals and couples, who do not qualify for subsidies under the ACA. that the premium increase will outweigh the tax cut that they get", she said. The principal goal is passing massive tax breaks, and if undermining the health care system brings them closer to their objective, it's a price they're willing to pay.
Senator Susan Collins is back in the spotlight as a crucial swing vote in the U.S. Senate as she raises questions about how combining a Republican tax-cut plan with a partial repeal of Obamacare will affect middle-class Americans.
The mandate repeal is a promise we all made and we should keep.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) led the push to include the mandate in the Senate tax bill.
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