By MARCY GORDON
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans said Tuesday they are intent on repealing the Obama health care law requirement that Americans get health insurance, targeting the provision as a way to pay for GOP legislation cutting corporate taxes and individual rates.
The surprise renewal of the failed effort to repeal the law’s mandate came a day after President Donald Trump renewed pressure on GOP lawmakers to include the repeal in their tax overhaul legislation.
The move by Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee also was dictated by the Republicans’ need to find revenue sources for the massive tax-cut bill that calls for steep reductions and elimination of some popular tax breaks.
Targeting the mandate in the tax legislation would save an estimated $338 billion over a decade that could be used to help pay for the deep cuts.
“We are optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful; that’s obviously the view of the Senate Finance Committee Republicans,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters.
Without being forced to get coverage, fewer people would sign up for Medicaid or buy federally subsidized private insurance.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated repealing the requirement that people buy health coverage would mean 4 million additional uninsured people by 2019 and 13 million more by 2027.
The House bill, which is expected to pass Thursday, does not currently include repeal of the mandate, which requires most people to buy insurance coverage or face a fine.
Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Tom Cotton of Arkansas had pushed for the repeal in the tax bill, just months after GOP efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law had collapsed in the Senate.
“Repealing the mandate pays for more tax cuts for working families and protects them from being fined by the IRS for not being able to afford insurance that Obamacare made unaffordable in the first place,” Cotton said in a…