WATCH: Meadows says ObamaCare mandate repeal ‘picking up steam’

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the influential chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told The Hill on Friday that Republicans are working on a plan to eliminate ObamaCare's individual insurance mandate as part of the tax-reform legislation.

Meadows said he is working with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on legislative language and the concept is gaining momentum.

“We’ve actually shared it with our leadership. We’ve shared it with the [Ways and Means Committee] Chairman [Kevin] Brady. It’s picking up a lot of steam among my colleagues,” Meadows said. “This is not going to be a Mark Meadows or Tom Cotton effort. This is going to be really an effort by the entire GOP conference if it happens.”

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Meadows said he was unclear whether the provision would be included in the Senate bill or added to the freshly announced House tax reform bill.

Brady at an event Friday sponsored by Politico said including the mandate repeal is under consideration, though he also referred to “pros and cons” in adding it to the tax package.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) who opposes the tax reform package in its “current form” wants to “spend some time over the weekend analyzing” the impact of eliminating the individual mandate on tax reform.

“I wouldn’t want to say it’s a bad idea by any means, it could be a great idea I’m just going to spend some time looking through it because this is something that just really has come up for me over the course of the last day or so,” Zeldin told The Hill.

But adding provisions to the tax package may reduce its chances of passage, according to Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).

“I think the more different subjects you deal with in something, the less likely something can get passed,” Kinzinger said.

 

Watch the video above to hear the lawmakers in their own words.