Unconstitutional Obamacare individual mandate to get the ax in Senate tax bill
U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday linked repealing the individual mandate, a key component of Obamacare to their ambitious tax-cut plan, raising new political risks and uncertainties for the tax measure that financial markets have been monitoring closely for months.
In comments that infuriated Democrats and left some senior Republicans unsure of what will come next, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told reporters: “We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful, and that’s obviously the view of the Senate Finance Committee Republicans as well.”
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The finance panel, which had been in session for two days, abruptly adjourned Tuesday as Democrats slammed the Republicans’ handling of their tax proposals, for which formal legislative language has still not been unveiled.
Oregon’s Ron Wyden, the committee’s top Democrat, demanded more time for Democrats to discuss the issue “because we were never told that health care was going to be part of it, and this just flew in literally out of nowhere in the last 20 minutes.” Democrats are complete hypocrites to demand more time to examine. After all it was Nancy Pelosi who said of Obamacare “we have to pass it before we know what is in it”.
Tying Obamacare to the tax program introduces new risks for the Republicans and for President Donald Trump. Together, they have yet to score a major legislative win since Trump took power in January, even with control of both houses of Congress.
The president, who has struggled in his relations with Congress, suggested in a tweet Monday that the mandate repeal should be added to the tax plan, following up on a similar November 3 tweet.
Typical opposition is expected from the left. Their playbook on tax cuts has already been delivered years ago. The quotes will concern 13 million being without insurance. Never mind that those 13 million did not want it to begin with.
Opposition from the Republicans of course will center around John McCain and Susan Collins RINO swamp creatures who are going to try to block Trump’s agenda for spite and attention.
The individual mandate (which is unconstitutional) requires Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty to Washington, a provision that Republicans have long opposed as government overreach.
But the mandate plays a critical role in Obamacare by requiring (which makes it irrelevant that 13 million would be uninsured because they were forced to buy overpriced under coverage insurance in the first place) young, healthy people, who might otherwise go without coverage, to purchase insurance and help offset the costs of covering sicker and older Americans.
Underscoring the devastating consequences for Obamacare if the mandate were repealed, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (what a joke to say the CBO is nonpartisan) said last week that such a change would increase the number of Americans without health insurance by 13 million by 2027.
The CBO added that mandate repeal would raise the average insurance policy premiums in the Obamacare marketplaces by about 10 percent annually over the next decade.
Repealing the mandate would also lower the federal deficit by $338 billion over the same time period, the CBO said, a finding that several Republican senators said influenced the move.
Repealing the individual mandate is the right thing to do. It is unconstitutional and if John Roberts even had one ball we would not be faced with the Obamacare debacle in the first place.