Sen. Tom Cotton has what he calls a “modest proposal” for the tax legislation that House Republicans are poised to release on Wednesday: eliminate the Affordable Care Act individual mandate. The idea has been resisted by GOP leaders, who worry that mixing health care and taxes could imperil prospects for the upcoming bill.
“Why repeal popular tax deductions when $300B available from mandate repeal?!” the first-term Arkansas Republican argued in a series of tweets Sunday.
A December 2016 estimate by the Congressional Budget Office found that ending the mandate’s tax penalty for most Americans who fail to buy insurance would raise $416 billion over a decade, while causing 15 million to lose their insurance. The savings are mostly because fewer people would use the federal subsidies to buy coverage. An earlier estimate placed the deficit-reduction figure around $300 billion.