WASHINGTON, March 29 A looming push to overhaul
the U.S. tax code could include the repeal of Obamacare taxes
left intact by last week's collapse of the Republican healthcare
bill, the Senate's top Republican on tax policy said on
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said levies
imposed by Obamacare, including taxes on medical devices and
benefit-rich health insurance polices known as "Cadillac" plans,
could be tackled through tax reform or a revised healthcare
"Either, as far as I'm concerned," Hatch told reporters.
"Any way we can get rid of those, I think it'd be a good thing."
Americans for Tax Reform, a political group in Washington
that opposes all tax increases, said 21 tax hikes emerged from
the 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
Democrats say the taxes are necessary to help
moderate-to-low-income consumers obtain health coverage through
private insurance and the Medicaid program for the poor and
The prospects for using tax reform to repeal Obamacare's
taxes dimmed earlier this week in the House of Representatives,
when House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said he
would not include the Obamacare items in tax reform legislation
his panel is expected to disclose later this year.
Hatch's comments suggested the Senate could take a different
approach on the taxes once a House tax reform bill reaches his
chamber, unless a new healthcare bill surfaces first.
The House Republican healthcare bill, which would have
repealed nearly $900 billion in Obamacare taxes over a decade,
was pulled from consideration last Friday because Republicans
lacked the votes to pass it.
Republicans say they are determined to revisit the topic,
and President Donald Trump told senators on Tuesday that he
expected lawmakers to reach a deal on healthcare.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Julia Edwards Ainsley
and Peter Cooney)