The United States Senate has approved the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax system in over 30 years with President Donald Trump claiming victory for the Republican tax bill that “essentially” repeals Obamacare.
Trump and GOP (Republican) lawmakers gathered at the White House on Wednesday to cheer their first first major legislative achievement which is a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul.
The bill eliminates a tax penalty for Americans who don’t carry health insurance, a pillar of the Affordable Care Act. Insurers have warned that eliminating the requirement will cause them to raise premiums. Healthy people will have less incentive to sign up for coverage, leaving insurers with a sicker pool of customers overall, the companies and many economists and health policy experts say.
“The individual mandate is being repealed. That means Obamacare is being repealed,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “We have essentially repealed Obamacare.”
Trump said Republicans will come up with a “much better” replacement policy. Republican legislation to replace much of the Affordable Care Act failed earlier this year.
While celebrating the passage with Republicans on the steps of the south portico in the White House, Trump said, “We are making America great again,” as he personally thanked his “little team” of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, before lawmakers lavished praise upon a president they have often openly criticized.
“I don’t know if we’ll have bigger moments, but we hope to,” Trump said, adding that; “It’s been an amazing experience, I have to tell you. Hasn’t been done in 34 years, but actually, really hasn’t been done, because we broke every record. It’s the largest — I always say, the most massive — but it’s the largest tax cut in the history of our country — and reform — but tax cut. Really something special.
And I know this just came out. Two minutes ago, they handed it to me. AT&T plans to increase U.S. capital spending $1 billion and provide $1,000 special bonus to more than 200,000 U.S. employees, and that’s because of what we did. So that’s pretty good. That’s pretty good.
“And I have a whole list of accomplishments that the group behind me have done, in terms of this administration and this Congress, but you’ve heard it before. Records all over the place, and that will continue and then some because of what we did. But $3.2 trillion — just think of it — in tax cuts for American families, including doubling the standard deduction and doubling the child tax credit.
The President is expected to sign the bill at a later date for technical reasons. In fact, the signing may be postponed until the start of the new calendar year in order to delay $120 billion in automatic cuts to popular programs such as Medicare and spare Republicans from having to explain them in an election year.
The tax package provides a deep cut in the corporate rate, from 35 per cent to 21 per cent. On the individual side, about 80 per cent of American households will get tax cuts next year, while about 5 per cent will pay more, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.