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>> Of America, this bill gives up on our country.>> Republicans ignite a firestorm as they expand their tax plan to go after Obamacare. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where Republicans unveiled last minute changes to their tax package that would remove penalties for Americans who choose not to carry health insurance.
The so called individual mandate, a central pillar of Obamacare. Without that in place, roughly 13 million fewer Americans would have health insurance. Meaning the federal government would pay out roughly $300 billion less in subsidies over ten years. Those savings then could be applied towards lowering taxes.>> By producing this modification, we've taken another big step forward for tax reform.
>> This helps Republicans with two of their top priorities, cutting taxes and gutting Obamacare. But it's a huge political gamble potentially leaving them short of the votes they need.>> This is a very different bill now, colleagues.>> Democrats are livid, accusing Republicans of eroding affordable health care to give big tax cuts for the wealthy.
>> You're cutting, I believe, and you can correct me, if I'm wrong, 179 billion from Medicaid.>> There are no cuts to Medicaid in this bill.>> I beg your pardon, that's where the money's coming from. Where do you think the $300 billion is coming from? Is there a fairy that's dropping it on the Senate?
>> It's not clear how many Republicans will support the plan in the Senate, where the GOP holds a slim 52 to 48 majority and can only stand to lose three votes. Senator John McCain, a hold out in the drive to repeal Obamacare, indicated he's leaning towards yes this time but some Republicans leaning the other way.
Susan Collins of Maine says she's worried that middle class tax cuts could be wiped out by higher health insurance costs. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says the plan as it stands favors corporations over other kinds of businesses. Republicans unveiled other changes as well, saying that tax cuts for individuals would be temporary, while tax cuts for businesses would be permanent.
That limits the overall cost of the package, making it easier to move quickly through Congress. But it could now make the plan a harder sell to ordinary Americans, who would see their tax cuts evaporate eight years from now. Republicans are hoping to race their plan through the House and the Senate by the end of the year.
They weren't counting on much help from democrats before hand, and now that they're going after ObamaCare they're not likely to get any help at all. Republicans are desperate for a legislative victory heading in the next years elections. They've got momentum and President Trump on their side. But as their tax plan gets more complicated, it creates more potential points for conflict, and they have little room for error.
>> It is bill is a thief in the night, I mean it, that's a-