On November 16, the Senate Finance Committee voted along party lines 14-12 to send the Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to the full Senate. During the week-long mark-up, Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) added language to the bill ending the requirement in the ACA that all Americans have health coverage (the “individual mandate”), effective Monday, January 1, 2019.
The American Academy of Family Physicians, with 5 other premier health care groups, sent a joint letter to Congressional leaders urging them to “maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.”
The House version of the tax bill passed the House without the Obamacare repeal provision. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans to bring the bill to the Senate floor the week after the Thanksgiving recess.