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Kevin Brady: Trump Wants Health Reform Linked to Tax Package

Image: Kevin Brady: Trump Wants Health Reform Linked to Tax Package
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By    |   Friday, 03 Nov 2017 04:07 PM

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said Friday that President Donald Trump "feels very strongly" about including legislation to repeal the Obamacare individual mandate in the Republican tax-reform package.

"The president feels very strongly about including this at some step before the final process," the Texas congressman told Politico's "Playbook Power Briefing" in Washington. "He's told me that twice by phone and once in person … and members have as well.

"There are pros and cons to this, importing healthcare into a tax-reform debate, has consequences.

"No decisions have been made," Brady cautioned. "We're listening to the members and certainly the president as well."

House Republicans released their tax plan on Thursday, but it did not include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.

Trump called for the repeal Wednesday, though he praised the tax proposal after the rollout as being "all about jobs."

Brady, 62, who was first elected to Congress in 1996, had told reporters earlier this week that he did not want the mandate repeal included because it might jeopardize the tax legislation, since the Senate has been unable to deliver on healthcare reform.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton has been pushing the idea and discussed it with Trump this past weekend, The Hill reports.

Repealing the Obamacare mandate would save around $400 billion, according to the report, and those funds could be used to pay for tax cuts.

However, the Congressional Budget Office has said that the repeal would leave 15 million more Americans without insurance and premiums would increase by 20 percent.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus also backs including the repeal, Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, the North Carolina Republican, told the Hill.

In other comments from the Politico session, Brady said that Trump "calls regularly, more often now, just weighing in on these decisions" regarding the tax plan — and he will play a big way in promoting it to taxpayers.

"He's using Twitter to make the case as well," the chairman said. "He's been all in on the rollout.

"He's going to stay engaged, his Cabinet is staying engaged while he's traveling."

Brady added that the tax plan will not be amended on the House floor.

"The work will be done in the committee and before we take it to the Rules Committee and later in conference."

He said that passing the tax package was critical to Republicans heading into next year's congressional elections.

"We've not delivered on our promise on health care repeal," Brady told the gathering. "It's critical to deliver on tax reform.

"This is the challenge of the lifetime.

"At the end of the day, we achieve this," he added, "we've delivered on our promise."

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said Friday that President Donald Trump "feels very strongly" about including legislation to repeal the Obamacare individual mandate in the Republican tax-reform package.
kevin brady, donald trump, healthcare reform, linked, tax package
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2017-07-03
Friday, 03 Nov 2017 04:07 PM
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