Donald Trump to Focus on Tax Reform after Healthcare Bill Failure
Donald Trump will turn to tax reform, following his failure to get his healthcare bill through Congress on March 24.
The draft bill would have scrapped the Affordable Care Act of former President Barack Obama, which was opposed by President Trump’s Republican party for years.
ObamaCare requires all Americans to have health insurance but offers subsidies to people on low incomes.
President Trump’s healtcare bill was withdrawn because of a lack of support from Republicans.
They control both houses of Congress, and the withdrawal is a major setback for the new president.
Donald Trump campaigned on his skills as a dealmaker.
He told reporters at the White House: “I would say that we will probably start going very, very strong for the big tax cuts and tax reform. That will be next.”
However, the tax cuts were supposed to be paid for by savings from the withdrawn healthcare bill.
Without the spending cuts in the failed bill, any tax cuts will add to the federal budget deficit.
President Trump lashed out at Democrats in Congress after the bill was withdrawn, blaming them for not backing his legislation.
However, it was House Republicans who ensured it was shelved, after Speaker Paul Ryan decided he could not get enough backing from his own party.
Paul Ryan said: “Doing big things is hard.”
Donald Trump refrained from criticizing Mr Ryan, whose job as speaker of the House involves rallying support for controversial bills.
“We learned about loyalty; we learned a lot about the vote-getting process,” the president said.
On March 25, Donald Trump repeated his claim that ObamaCare would “explode”, tweeting: “We will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!”
ObamaCare has been troubled by increases in insurance premiums. It also imposes tax penalties on uninsured Americans – many of them low- to moderate-income earners.
However, it also bans insurance companies from denying health coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions and allows young people to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on March 24 that tax reform was “a lot simpler” in many ways than healthcare reform.
Steve Mnuchin said that his goal remained to get tax measures through Congress by August this year.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer admitted that this goal was “an ambitious one”, but one that the administration was “going to try to stick to”.