Republicans tie tax plan to repeal of key Obamacare mandate

On Tuesday, US Senate Republicans linked repealing a key element of Obamacare to their ambitious plan of cutting the rate of taxes which in turn will raise fresh political risks and uncertainties for the tax measure which the financial markets have been closely monitoring for some months. Comments that infuriated the Democrats and left some senior Republicans unsure about what is coming next, the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that the insertion of the individual mandate repeal would be of great help and that it is obviously the view of the Senate Finance Committee Republicans as well. The finance panel, which had been in session for two days, suddenly adjourned on Tuesday as the Democrats slammed the Republicans' handling of their tax proposals for which the formal legislative language has still not been revealed. The committee's top Democrat of the committee, Ron Wyden demanded for some more time for the Democrats to carry on a discussion about the issue. This is because they were never told that healthcare was going to be part of it and this just flew in literally out of nowhere in the last few minutes.

Tying Obamacare to the tax program brings forward some new risks for the Republicans and for President Donald Trump. Together, they are yet to score a thumping legislative win since Trump took power in January, even with control of the White House and Congress. The president of the United States who has struggled in his relations with Congress had suggested in a tweet on Monday that the mandate repeal should be added to the tax plan. This tweet is actually a follow up on a similar tweet from the 3rd of November. But at this point in time, Senator Susan Collins told reporters afterward that no final decision was made on such a move at the Senate Republicans' weekly gathering for lunch. She played a crucial role in July's collapse of a yearlong push by fellow Republicans to gut Obamacare which is the former United States' Democratic President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law that is formally known as the Affordable Care Act. Collins said that she personally thinks it will complicate the tax reform to put the repeal of the individual mandate in there. When Collins was asked if she would back the tax bill if a mandate repeal was added, she answered that she is going to wait and see.

December 16, 2017 - 03:56
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