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Anyone who began to breathe a bit easier after the numerous Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare failed earlier this year may have exhaled too soon. The GOP’s new tax reform bill presents a new avenue for Republicans to strip away health insurance from millions of Americans — roughly 13 million, to be exact.
The new threat to Americans’ health care comes from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who announced on Tuesday that he would try to add an amendment to the tax reform bill that would repeal the individual mandate so as to “provide bigger tax cuts” to middle-class Americans, according to CNBC .
“We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told The Washington Post on Tuesday.
But as one health policy expert from the left-leaning Center for American Progress pointed out, Republicans’ relentless to quest to repeal the crucial Obamacare component would most likely end in disaster for millions of people.
The tax bill would result in a $1,990 premium tax and an exodus of insurers from the market as well as increase the number of uninsured by roughly 13 million, according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office. The concern that millions of Americans would lose health insurance helped push moderate Republican senators like Susan Collins, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski against the various Obamacare repeal efforts earlier this year, and McCain has already told reporters that he would need to see the entire tax reform bill before deciding whether he could support repealing the mandate.