GOP adds Obamacare changes to tax reform
— Senate Republicans are intent on scrapping the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that Americans get health insurance, targeting a repeal of the individual mandate to help finance deep tax cuts in their tax overhaul.
The surprise renewal Tuesday of the failed effort to scrap the law’s mandate came a day after President Donald Trump renewed pressure on GOP lawmakers to include the repeal in their tax legislation. It has sharp political stakes for Trump, who lacks a major legislative achievement after nearly 10 months in office.
The move by Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee upended the debate over the tax measure just as it was inching closer to passage following months of fine-tuning and compromise. It turned the debate into an angry partisan referendum on health care and President Barack Obama’s signature law.
Republican efforts to dismantle the law collapsed this past summer as moderate Republicans joined with Democrats in rejecting the repeal — a bitter disappointment for Trump, who lashed out at the Senate GOP for failing. Adding the repeal of the mandate to the tax measure would combine two of Trump’s legislative priorities.
Beyond Trump’s prodding, the repeal move also was dictated by the Republicans’ need to find revenue sources for the massive tax-