After repeal of the Affordable Care Act fell flat earlier this year, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday the repeal individual mandate will be part of the Senate’s tax reform bill.
The repeal language for the individual mandate was pushed for by Republican Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Ted Cruz (Texas), and Tom Cotton (Ark.).
Of the decision to include the repeal provision, McConnell 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.”
McConnell and others in Republican leadership, including South Dakota Senator John Thune said there has been a whip count and the numbers are there to pass the tax bill with the individual mandate repeal.
When asked by Democrat Ron Wyden whether the repeal of the individual mandate was germane to the tax bill Thune responded, “My understanding is the individual mandate is a tax collected by the IRS.”
After campaigning for years on Obamacare repeal, removing the individual mandate will be a key point for Republican candidates to point to during what is shaping up to be a cutthroat 2018 midterm election season.