Following is a statement by Alan Essig, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, regarding changes to the Senate tax plan.
“There are a few things that have been clear since this tax bill’s inception. It was never a plan to help the middle class. Now, the legislation being considered before the Senate Finance Committee is no longer a tax bill. It is an Affordable Care Act repeal bill.
“By including a provision to repeal the health care mandate in the Affordable Care Act, this legislation is a backdoor for Trump’s allies in Congress to achieve their dream of eliminating the law that made health care more accessible and affordable. The alleged savings of more than $300 billion that they claim they can achieve with this provision are not savings at all for the American people as millions more will be without health insurance and many of those who still have health insurance will see their premiums rise as a result.
“There are plenty of other ways for lawmakers to find such savings. For example, the cost of the corporate tax rate reduction in this bill is more than four times the savings from repealing the health care mandate. This bill’s proponents could have instead decided to cut the corporate tax rate by just a bit less and reduce the overall cost by the same amount. Instead, they chose to make health care more expensive and inaccessible for millions of Americans.
“Worse, the measure now will make all tax cuts for individuals expire after 2025 while making the corporate tax cuts permanent. The truth about our lawmakers’ intentions becomes more transparent every day. They dislike the corporate tax rate, and they dislike the health care law so much that they’re willing to pretend that diminishing health care access and cutting corporate taxes will benefit middle-income people. Instead of tax reform, lawmakers have developed a plan that addresses special interests’ ideological grievances. This unpopular proposal keeps getting worse. It’s not too late for lawmakers to stand up for what’s right and extinguish this dumpster fire.”