By Mike Debonis and Damian Paletta | Washington Post

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WASHINGTON – Senate Republican leaders are altering their tax bill to include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, a major change as they now try to accomplish two of their top domestic priorities in a single piece of legislation.

Party leaders said Tuesday their tax bill will include a provision that would repeal the individual mandate, a part of the health care law that creates penalties for Americans who don’t have health insurance.

“We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday after meeting with party members during a closed-door lunch.

Republicans had until Tuesday resisted making the change, worried that injecting health care politics would imperil the tax bill. But many of their members have supported adding the repeal, a move President Donald Trump has pushed repeatedly as well.

Repealing the mandate would free up more than $300 billion in government funding over the next decade, but it would also eventually lead to 13 million fewer people having health insurance, according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office.

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Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and a member of the finance committee that is drafting the tax bill, said repealing the individual mandate will allow them to further cut taxes for middle-income families.

“It’ll be distributed in the form of middle-income tax relief,” Thune said. “It will give us even more of an opportunity to really distribute the relief to those middle-income cohorts who could really benefit from it.”

But the change could unnerve less conservative Republican senators, …read more

Source:: East Bay – Business

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Senate GOP will add Obamacare mandate repeal to tax bill

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