The House’s chief tax writer is considering including repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate in legislation to overhaul the tax code after the House’s initial bill left it out.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman told Politico Playbook in an interview Friday that he is considering including repeal of the mandate, which requires everyone to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. The remarks come after President Trump called for including the repeal in the tax bill.
“The president feels very strongly about including this at some step,” the Texas Republican said. “We’ve asked for an updated score. No decisions have been made, we’re listening to members, certainly to the president.”
Brady told Hugh Hewitt this week that the bill wouldn’t include the repeal because it could cause a distraction. However, that was before Trump tweeted out his support for including it.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has been pushing for the repeal to be included. The Senate, which is drafting its own tax bill, is considering the idea but no final decision has been made.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in December that repealing the mandate would save $416 billion over 10 years and 15 million fewer people would have insurance.
Brady hinted that his prior concerns about including the repeal might win out and the bill will continue to not include the mandate repeal.
“"There are pros and cons to this, importing healthcare into a tax reform debate has consequences,” he said. “Especially when the Senate has failed to do anything on healthcare.”
• Joseph Lawler contributed to this report.