(AP) WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is pressuring Republicans to repeal a health-care law penalty in their tax rewrite, a step the House’s top tax writer indicated is politically problematic.
Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said Friday the president had spoken to him twice by phone and once in person, imploring him to scrap the so-called individual mandate that requires Americans to obtain health insurance or face a penalty.
“The president feels quite strongly about including this at some step,” Brady said in an interview with Politico.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that repealing the individual mandate would save $416 billion over a decade.
That’s because without it, fewer people would enroll in Medicaid or buy federally subsidized coverage on insurance exchanges.
The money represents a tempting revenue source for GOP tax writers whose plan for extensive tax cuts would add an estimated $1.5 trillion to the nation’s debt over 10 years.
Trump and the Republicans are driving to push through a major tax-cutting bill this year to secure a legislative accomplishment, following their stinging failure to overturn and replace the Obama health care law.
An influential conservative lawmaker, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said Friday that repealing the health care mandate needs to be part of the tax bill.
Meadows said he believes a majority of Republicans in the House share that view.
Trump even tweeted on Wednesday: “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.”
READ THE FULL STORY AT THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. Also of interest: Libertarian Sen. Rand Paul Writes Trump’s ACA Rollback