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Healthcare just got added to the Republican tax bill - Bring Me The News

Healthcare just got added to the Republican tax bill

It would repeal the "individual mandate."
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First we had a proposed healthcare repeal described as a tax cut, now we're seeing a proposed tax cut including a healthcare repeal.

That's what's happening in Washington, where Senate Republicans are expected to present a revised tax reform bill that will now include scrapping the "individual mandate" implemented in the Affordable Care Act.

The individual mandate stipulates that Americans must have health insurance coverage, and are fined if they don't.

The amendment to the tax bill to repeal the mandate was proposed by Sen. Rand Paul, saying it would "provide bigger tax cuts for middle income taxpayers."

What would the impact be?

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan federal agency that provides budget and economic guidance to the government, estimates that repealing the individual mandate would save $300 billion over a decade, but leave 13 million more Americans uninsured.

Not only that, the Washington Post reports the CBO also expects it to drive up insurance premiums for those Americans who retain their health coverage – by as much as 10 percent.

The move is being seen as a way of placating Republican senators concerned about the impact tax cuts would have on the national deficit, according to the New York Times.

The money saved by repealing the mandate would be used to fund the tax cuts in the Republican bill, which includes doubling the standard deduction and reducing corporation tax to 20 percent.

Some elements of the tax bill have been criticized for benefiting the wealthy rather than the middle class, with Fortune noting that the corporation tax cut, the repeal of estate tax and the abolition of the alternative minimum tax tips the balance of the tax bill in favor of the rich.

What's more, under the new tax reforms you'd no longer be able to claim your state and local taxes as deductions – something that would disproportionately impact people living in higher tax states like Minnesota.

Sen. Paul says the money saved by repealing the mandate would allow them to expand middle class tax breaks to fix this problem.

The individual mandate was one of the less popular provisions among Republicans discussing healthcare proposals earlier this year, when cuts to protection for people with existing conditions was among the reasons the Obamacare repeal failed to pass the Senate.

With the Republicans having a 52-48 majority in the Senate, CNN reports at least one GOPer, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, has concerns about repealing the mandate in the tax bill, saying it "complicates tax reform."

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