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By Robert Donachie
President Donald Trump insisted that tax reform is not an option until the White House and Congress can push through a plan to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.
Obamacare reform has to come first because it has such drastic effects on the tax code, the president said at a press conference prior to meeting with various governors about health care reform Monday morning. Repealing Obamacare and tax reform were two of Trump’s chief campaign promises, but it now appears as if the two are presenting the president with a serious conundrum.
The president is slated to lay out key details about his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare in Tuesday night’s speech to Congress. Thus far, Republicans are finding little to no consensus on the best way to go about a repeal effort.
Republican lawmakers are simultaneously experiencing a great deal of pressure from their constituents to both push forward with the Obamacare repeal, and to stop the repeal effort entirely — further compounding the problem.
Trump acknowledged the outcry some Republican lawmakers are receiving from their constituents in his comments Monday morning, but said it is important to remind them that Obamacare “is a disaster.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin promised that Trump’s first budget proposal to Congress will make its first appearance in Trump’s Tuesday address to Congress. Mnuchin said the budget will not include any cuts to major entitlement programs, like Social Security and Medicare. The budget will include the promised cuts to the tax brackets from seven down to three, and to “create a level playing field for U.S. companies to be able to compete in the world.”
Representatives from major health insurance providers are scheduled to meet with the president Monday afternoon to discuss the best ways to go about repealing Obamacare. Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield are two of the companies reportedly attending the meeting. The insurance companies allegedly have a long list of recommendations for the president, and will have ample opportunity to present them during the meeting.
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