Mulvaney: OK to Scrap Obamacare Mandate Repeal if It Imperils Tax Bill

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said on Sunday that the White House would be willing to scrap the Obamacare individual mandate repeal provision that was added to the Senate’s tax overhaul legislation—if such an effort imperils the legislation altogether. “If we can repeal part of Obamacare as part of a tax bill, and have a tax bill that is still a good tax bill that can pass, that’s great,” Mulvaney said on CNN’s State of the Union. “If it becomes an impediment to getting the best tax bill we can, then we’re OK with taking it out.” By adding an Obamacare repeal mechanism to their tax bill, Senate Republicans are risking losing support from key lawmakers, and handing a newly re-energized Democratic base yet another opportunity to mobilize against attempts to dismantle Obamacare. At least two moderate GOP senators, Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), have expressed concern with repealing the individual mandate without a guarantee that bipartisan Obamacare market stabilization measures be approved alongside it.

—Andrew Desiderio