Trump Proposes Repealing Obamacare's Individual Mandate To Pay For Tax Cuts

In a proposal which will further infuriate Democrats, moments ago Trump suggested repealing Obamacare's individual mandate to fund his proposed tax cut.

"Wouldn’t it be great to repeal the very unfair and unpopular individual mandate in ObamaCare and use those savings for further tax cuts for the Middle Class. The House and Senate should consider ASAP as the process of final approval moves along. Push Biggest Tax Cuts EVER,” President Trump says in series of posts on Twitter. 

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that repealing the mandate would save the government $416 billion over a decade. The mandate requires most people to pay a fine to the IRS if they do not have health insurance.

Trump's proposal echoes a similar suggestion from Sen. Tom Cotton, who suggested it could free up to an additional $300 billion in money for tax cuts. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said this week that he wouldn’t rule out including the  repeal of the mandate in the legislation, although as Bloomberg notes it is unclear whether such a plan could pass in the Senate, which has struggled to pass Obamacare repeal legislation.

Other top Republicans have rejected the idea, including House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). They fear adding mandate repeal into the mix would jeopardize tax reform.

As reported yesterday, the GOP delayed its release of tax bill, as a result of last minute disagreement over the contents.  As discussed previously, this may be just the first of several delays as somehow the proposal, now likely hobbled by over $1 trillion on the revenue side as it appears there will be no significant change to the treatment of local and state tax deductions, has to reconcile a plehtora of conflicting items including:

  • Are middle-class cuts from the budget framework (like doubling the standard deduction and expanded child tax credits) included?
    Is the SALT deduction included (or capped in some way)?
  • What level is the corporate tax rate (over/under Trump’s 20% target)
  • Is there a fourth tax bracket (rumblings suggest incomes above 1mm USD would be affected)
  •    Is the tax cut retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017?
  • Is there a repatriation deal for money kept overseas?
  • Does it add to the deficit?  If so, how much?
  • Will extraneous issues be slipped into the draft to entice specific voters?
    • Minimum wage hike
    • Border wall funding
    • Debt ceiling compromise
    • Planned parenthood funding