Trump Throws an Obamacare Curveball into the Tax Debate

Trump Throws an Obamacare Curveball into the Tax Debate

Kevin Lamarque

As House Republicans scrambled to finish drafting their tax bill, President Trump tossed a new issue into the debate, tweeting his support for including the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate as part of the tax overhaul.

The idea is being promoted by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) mentioned it on Fox news minutes before Trump’s tweet. House Ways and Means chair Kevin Brady had dismissed the proposal earlier this week, but it may be in play on Capitol Hill now that the president is expressing support — and now that Republicans are so obviously struggling to find new sources of revenue for their bill.

A CBO report from last December found that repealing the individual mandate — which would result in 15 million fewer people having health insurance by 2026 and thus lower federal spending on subsidies and care — would reduce the deficit by $416 billion over 10 years, a big number that could be applied to the revenue losses caused by tax cuts.