Critical Republican senators including Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have tentatively agreed to support a tax cut bill that includes a repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate if the Alexander-Murray stabilization bill is also included in the deal, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that won't make any difference.
The director of the CBO says repealing the individual mandate will lead to a significant increase in individual premiums even if the Alexander-Murray bill is passed alongside it.
In a letter to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Wednesday, CBO Director Keith Hall wrote that the estimate of premiums rising 10 percent and 13 million fewer people with coverage over 10 years would remain roughly the same even if the bipartisan fix from Murray and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) were added in.
Even with the bipartisan legislation “the effects on premiums and the number of people with health insurance coverage would be similar to those referenced above,” Hall wrote, referring to the CBO’s previous estimates on mandate repeal.
Will this prompt Republican senators to reconsider their agreement?
I don't know, but my gut says 'no.'
The idea that raising taxes on millions of working people, shredding the value of homes, and kicking millions more off their health care could collectively crash the economy does not appear to be on the minds of any Republicans. I don't think they have a clue.
I don't know to what extent the general public recognizes the threat, for that matter, but they will.