Brady rejects bid to repeal ObamaCare mandate in tax reform

Brady rejects bid to repeal ObamaCare mandate in tax reform
© Greg Nash

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOn The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 Trump war with GOP seeps into midterms MORE (R-Texas) is rejecting a push by Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate Republicans press federal authorities for information on Texas synagogue hostage-taker Sunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion Senate's antitrust bill would raise consumer prices and lower our competitiveness MORE (R-Ark.) to add a repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate to tax reform.

Brady said in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday that he fears the move could jeopardize tax reform, a concern held by many Republicans.

“What I don’t want to do is to add things that could again kill tax reform like health care died over there,” Brady said, referencing the Senate.

He pointed out that even the “skinny” ObamaCare repeal bill, which repealed the individual mandate and a few other items, failed to pass the Senate in July.

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“Look, I want to see that individual mandate repealed,” Brady said. “I just haven’t seen, no one has seen 50 votes in the Senate to do it.”

Brady said that if the Senate includes a repeal of the mandate in its version of the bill, he would support it in a conference committee.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMeet Washington's most ineffective senator: Joe Manchin Lobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage MORE (R-Utah) on Monday did not rule out including a repeal of the mandate in tax reform, but Senate GOP aides have said it is unlikely to be added.

Cotton argues the mandate, which requires people to have health insurance or pay a fine, should be repealed in tax reform. He notes that the Congressional Budget Office has said the move would save around $300 billion over 10 years, which could help pay for tax cuts.

The flip side is that CBO finds 15 million fewer people would have health insurance and premiums would rise around 20 percent.