House, Senate’s Negotiated Tax Package Includes Repeal Of Individual Mandate
The agreement will also allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) tells reporters that he was confident the final bill would be approved next week.
The New York Times:
Republican Tax Bill In Final Sprint Across Finish Line
The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year. ... In a break from the House bill, the agreement would allow taxpayers to continue to deduct high out-of-pocket medical expenses, and it would retain a provision allowing graduate students who receive tuition stipends to avoid paying taxes on that benefit. Also included in the consensus bill is the Senate’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty and a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration. (Tankersley, Kaplan and Rappeport, 12/13)
GOP Tax Compromise Would Repeal Obamacare’s Individual Mandate
Republican lawmakers will overturn a key piece of the Affordable Care Act in their tax overhaul, a victory in a long GOP campaign against the health law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the compromise tax bill from House and Senate negotiators will end the health law’s requirement that all individuals buy insurance or pay a fine. Doing so could jeopardize Obamacare’s already-shaky marketplaces, by reducing the number of healthier people who sign up for insurance. (Tracer and Rausch, 12/13)
The New York Times:
Last-Ditch Effort To Sway Senator On Tax Bill Involves Personal Pleas
As a group of progressive activists and constituents prepared for a 15-minute meeting on Wednesday with Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, they sat in the lobby of her office and developed a last-ditch strategy to persuade her to vote against the $1.5 trillion tax bill barreling through Congress: tears. “If Senator Collins actually saw you as a human, saw me as a human, then she wouldn’t pass any of this,” said Ady Barkan, a member of the Center for Popular Democracy, who recently learned he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or A.L.S., and uses a wheelchair. (Rappeport, 12/14)
Meanwhile, states are watching the negotiations unfold —
State House News Service:
Mass. Individual Mandate Would Remain If Fed Mandate Is Repealed
Massachusetts officials remain on alert for attempts in Washington to squeeze the northward flow of federal health care funds, but the so-called individual mandate to purchase health insurance, an important ingredient of Obamacare, is not a top concern within the Bay State. (Norton, 12/13)
What Will GOP Tax Plan Mean For Jerry Brown's 2018 Budget?
Before he terms out of California’s highest office, Gov. Jerry Brown has one more budget to negotiate – a deal that may be complicated by actions taken far outside the state’s borders. Republicans in Congress are in the final stages of a massive overhaul of the federal tax code, which they are eager to pass before Christmas. It could have profound implications for Californians’ pocketbooks, particularly if the cherished deduction for state taxes is eliminated, but the impact on California’s overall fiscal health is not yet clear. (Koseff, 12/13)