WASHINGTON (WCMH) — Senate Republicans want to kill a key part of Obamacare in their tax bill.
Their latest tax plan would get rid of the individual mandate —the requirement that Americans buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
“By taking some of that funding that we get from the individual mandate, and putting it against more tax cuts for the middle class, I think we’re going to help people more,” said Portman.
Republicans said eliminating the mandate will give them at least an extra $300 billion to pay for tax cuts. The Congressional Budget Office estimates 13 million fewer people will have health insurance.
Senator Gary Peters said that’s another reason to oppose the bill.
“Not only is this so-called tax reform bill not fair, it’s not simplifying the tax code, it’s also taking away healthcare from people,” said Peters.
The CBO also estimates premiums will go up 10%. That’s why Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown argues the plan won’t help the middle class.
“You give them a little bit of a tax cut, and take the money out of their other pocket, by raising their insurance rates,” said Brown.
Portman said while he supports getting rid of the mandate, he also wants to move forward with the Alexander-Murray bill — a bipartisan plan to stabilize Obamacare Insurance markets.
“I think the more important thing there is to get states more flexibility and to cover the CSRs over the next couple years,” said Portman.
Republicans have failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act multiple times year and Democratic leaders said they aren’t backing down now.
Democratic lawmakers held a rallied against the tax bill outside the Capitol on Wednesday.
“We have to fight this bill just the way we fought healthcare,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.