Republican leaders in the United States Senate have agreed to include Senator Tom Cotton's proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate requirement as part of their tax reform bill.
One day after President Donald Trump urged GOP legislators to include the repeal on Twitter, senators on the Senate Finance Committee discussed and ultimately agreed to Cotton's proposal.
The removal of the mandate would save roughly $338 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO estimated that the number of uninsured people would increase by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027 if the mandate was removed.
Cotton said in a statement that he was "pleased" his proposal was to be included in the tax bill.
"Repealing the mandate pays for more tax cuts for working families and protects them from being fined by the IRS for not being able to afford insurance that Obamacare made unaffordable in the first place," Cotton claimed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is confident that the tax reform bill would pass by the end of the year with mandate repeal included.
As long as the GOP tax bill avoids adding more than $1.5 trillion over the next decade to deficits in the federal budget, they can be protected from a Democratic filibuster. Senate Republicans would only need a 51-vote majority in order to pass the bill.
Among the reforms included in the bill, most Americans could see their standard deduction doubled, a deep cut to corporate taxes, and a federal deduction for state and local property, income and sales taxes limited or repealed entirely.
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