GOP lawmakers celebrated after passing a 1.5 trillion dollar tax package that slashes tax rates for large corporations and eliminates itemized deductions for most families.
The tax bill is the first major piece of legislation passed by the Republican controlled Congress since President Trump took office 11 months ago.
The bill did not receive a single vote from a Democrat in either chamber of Congress and was written behind closed doors by a select group of Republican lawmakers.
The bill’s implications stretch beyond the tax code with a key provision that removes the Affordable Care Act individual mandate that requires taxpayers to have health insurance or face a tax penalty.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that removal of the mandate will cause 13 million Americans to lose health insurance coverage, a key victory for GOP lawmakers.
Sam Conde, a certified Affordable Care Act navigator in Tyler, says removing the mandate targets lower income families who depend on the coverage they currently have under the Affordable Care Act.
“Not having the mandate will not sustain the affordability of the premiums,” Conde said.
In addition to removal of the mandate, the bill eliminates the ability to deduct interest paid on student loans.