A liberal group has launched an advertisement in ME encouraging Sen.
Collins told NBC News' Chuck Todd this week that she believes it's a mistake to combine the tax bill with health care policy, and that she's particularly concerned that, for many ME families, a rise in insurance premiums from the elimination of the mandate "more than cancels out" any benefit from cuts in tax rates.
Collins said Sunday that the tax advantage that some middle-income consumers would reap under the tax bill could be wiped out by repealing the mandate under the Affordable Care Act.
"Senator Collins must choose between supporting a bill that cuts taxes for the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of working families or supporting the health and financial security of Maine's middle class", Tim Hogan, a spokesman for Not One Penny, said in a statement provided to NBC News. It was too soon to say whether eliminating the repeal of the so-called individual mandate would increase the bill's chances of passing.
Paul, like a few other conservatives in the Senate, had been pushing leadership to include a repeal of the Obamacare coverage individual mandate in the tax bill.
On CBS' Face the Nation, Mulvaney said the White House "would love to see Obamacare taken apart all at once, bit by bit, however we can do it", but that if the mandate repeal "needs to come out in order for that good tax bill to pass, we can live with that as well". Collins said it is not "fair" to characterize the tax proposal that way, but thinks more could be done to help those earning lower and middle incomes. Among them was Senator Susan Collins, one of a handful of Republicans who voted in July to block a broader Republican attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. "Right now our objective is to keep it in", he said, adding that "we're going to work with the Senate as we go through this". One bill is legislation she and Florida Democratic Sen.
The group, which plans to run similar spots in a set of states it hasn't yet identified, has committed to fighting any legislation that cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans. Last week, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said a recent bipartisan compromise aiming to stabilize insurance markets was "important" and would be "particularly so" if the individual mandate was repealed.
Striking the health care provision would blow a big hole in the senators' tax cut plan, leaving them $338 billion short of their revenue goal over the next 10 years. "It's a problem for me if it is not mitigated", Collins said. "I don't think that provision should be in the bill. So I think it's up to the Senate and the House to sort of hammer out those details". Including a repeal of the provision in the Senate bill gives GOP leaders more revenue to work with. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) created to make fixes to Obamacare, which Collins supports, she's not sure she would vote for the tax bill, she said.
Speaking on the same program, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said the White House is "very comfortable with the House bill" because it achieves its top priorities on taxes.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the mandate amounts to "an unfair tax on poor people".
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