Republicans on Capitol Hill said Wednesday that the tax bill being negotiated will likely eliminate the ObamaCare mandate, reports said Wednesday.
The repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate to buy insurance -- a centerpiece of Democrats' biggest achievement in a generation -- is estimated to generate some $300 billion to pay for tax cuts.
Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., told The New York Times that the mandate was a “bad idea to begin with.”
We made people do something that was supposed to be good for them. But they are telling us by the millions how much they dislike the mandate,” he said.
The tax overhaul represents the GOP-controlled Congress's best chance for a policy win this year and looms large in the 2018 congressional elections. Not a single Democrat voted for either the House or the Senate bill. No Democratic amendments were approved in committee or on the floor of either chamber - and the final House-Senate joint product is all but guaranteed to come from Republicans-only negotiations.
Democratic lawmakers say they were shut out of a rushed process, with scant time to review last-minute changes. In a tweet shared more than 150,000 times, Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester posted a video of himself describing his party as blindsided by the almost 500-pages of legislation provided by Republicans on Friday evening just hours before the bill passed.
"This is just one big set of ideological trophies," Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the tax-writing Finance Committee, said after the vote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report