Via The Hill:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that the Senate tax bill will include language to repeal ObamaCare’s individual mandate, which could make it tougher for moderate Republicans to support.
Conservatives led by GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) pushed hard to include the provision, which would eliminate the federal penalty on people who do not buy health insurance.
McConnell told reporters that adding the individual mandate repeal will make it easier to muster 50 votes to pass the bill.
“We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful and that’s obviously the view of the Senate Finance Committee Republicans as well,” McConnell said.
It will raise an estimated $300 billion to $400 billion over the next year that could be used to pay for lowering individual and business tax rates even further.
Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the Senate’s No. 3 Republican, told reporters there has been a whip count and he is confident Republicans can pass a tax bill that includes a measure to repeal the mandate.