After a closed-door lunch meeting Tuesday afternoon, Senate Republicans announced they will add language repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to the tax bill currently working through Congress. The amendment was introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
This move hopes to fulfill two often-repeated Republican promises; repealing parts of the ACA including the individual mandate and cutting taxes.
Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and a member of the Senate finance committee John Thune (R-S.D.) & the committee writing the text of the bill said that the savings generated by repealing the individual mandate will allow for more tax cuts for the middle class.
“It’ll be distributed in the form of middle-income tax relief” he said. “It will give us even more of an opportunity to really distribute the relief to those middle-income cohorts who could really benefit from it.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office, repealing the individual mandate could save more than $300 billion in government spending by 2027 but would lead to 13 million people losing their health insurance over the same time frame.
Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) said the amended bill could also include language supporting the bipartisan healthcare bill that would continue to fund federal subsidies for lower-income Americans buying insurance through an exchange.