Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch released the revisions to the Senate tax plan Tuesday night. The new version sunsets most of the individual tax provisions after 2025, but makes the lower corporate tax rate permanent. Senate GOP changes tax bill to add Obamacare mandate repeal, make individual income cuts expire:
Senate Republicans announced that the individual tax cuts in the plan would be made temporary, expiring at the end of 2025 to comply with Senate rules limiting the impact of legislation on the long-term deficit [by making the individual income tax cuts temporary, Senate leaders are seeking to ensure that the bill does not violate the chamber’s Byrd Rule that prohibits legislation passed with fewer than 60 votes from raising the deficit after 10 years]. A corporate tax cut, reducing the rate from 35 to 20 percent, would be left permanent.
Oh, and it also repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
This would result in 13 million fewer people having health insurance, according to projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The CBO has also projected that repealing the individual mandate would drive up insurance premiums for many Americans by roughly 10 percent.
As Axios.com says:
Remember “skinny repeal”? The repeal bill that all but three Senate Republicans voted for on the express condition that it not become law? Because, as Sen. Lindsey Graham put it, “the skinny bill as policy is a disaster”? The policy is basically the same this time around.
- “Skinny repeal” would have done more than just end the individual mandate, but that was its biggest change, and the one that made it a “disaster” for insurance markets. Any vehicle that repeals the individual mandate, without a replacement, will cause premiums to rise and leave millions more Americans uninsured.
- That said, none of the three senators who killed skinny repeal — Susan Collins, John McCain or Lisa Murkowski — has said repealing the individual mandate would be a deal-breaker for their tax votes.
Why now? The savings. Repealing the mandate would save the government roughly $340 billion over a decade, and Republicans need that money to help offset the lost revenues from $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.
- As CBO reminded lawmakers yesterday, if the tax bill does end up adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit, automatic cuts would kick in — including $25 billion from Medicare. Some Republicans have also said they won’t vote for a tax bill that adds to the deficit, making the search for spending cuts especially important.