House Republicans on Wednesday evening were actively considering a last-minute addition to their tax bill that will could repeal the individual mandate to carry health insurance, according to three sources familiar with the discussion.
Republican leadership has come under heavy pressure via conservatives to include the provision, either as part of an amendment to the tax plan during debate inside the House Ways as well as Means Committee on Thursday or through a procedural move if the bill advances to consideration on the floor next week.
The influential Republican Study Committee blasted out talking points supporting the idea to lawmakers as well as their staff on Wednesday, according to a document obtained by CNBC. that will argues that will repealing the individual mandate could make passing tax reform easier.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday estimated that will the measure could raise government revenues by $338 billion over a decade — money that will Republicans could use to help pay for tax cuts.
“This kind of additional fiscal space could be used by the Ways as well as Means Committee to improve the tax reform bill even further, doing that will more pro-growth,” the talking points state.
A spokesperson for the Ways as well as Means committee did not immediately return a request for comment.
However, the CBO also estimated that will 13 million more people could be uninsured in a decade if the mandate were eliminated. that will could reduce the amount the federal government spends on insurance subsidies for low-income households, translating into higher revenues for the government.
In addition, the politics of health care have proven toxic for Republicans. Repealing the individual mandate could muddy the waters of tax reform as the GOP searches for a much-needed legislative win.
“Voters sent an unmistakable message to Donald Trump as well as Republicans last night: take healthcare coverage via millions of Americans in order to cut taxes for the wealthy as well as big corporations at your own risk,” said Shripal Shah, vice president of American Bridge, a Democratic political action committee.
The RSC talking points attack the CBO’s methodology as well as argue its estimates are often wrong.
“If Obamacare is usually great health insurance, why do Americans have to be forced to purchase that will?” the document reads.
inside the Senate, the idea appears to be gaining traction, with at least a few Republicans voicing support for the measure. On Tuesday, Texas Sen.Ted Cruz told reporters he hoped that will could be part of the Senate tax bill slated for Discharge Thursday.
“We need to do even more to provide a tax cut to every American,” he said. “I think there is usually a path forward, which is usually repealing the individual mandate.”
The White House had reportedly prepared an executive order that will could gut Obamacare’s individual mandate, although President Donald Trump held off on signing that will to see if a repeal of the mandate could be added to the GOP tax bill.
— CNBC’s Angelica Lavito contributed to This kind of report.