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Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 11:16PM

The Latest: Hatch defends 'Obamacare' repeal in tax bill

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Republican tax overhaul legislation (all times local):

11 a.m.

The head of the Senate's tax-writing committee is defending the decision to include in the tax bill a repeal of the Obamacare requirement for Americans to get health insurance.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Wednesday the requirement that nearly everyone have insurance coverage or face a fine is a tax.

Hatch said that's a "terribly regressive tax that imposes harsh burdens on low- and middle-income taxpayers." His panel started a third day of work Wednesday on the tax overhaul legislation.

Democrats angrily protested the move. Repealing the mandate would raise an estimated $338 billion that could help pay for deep tax cuts, especially for corporations. Budget analysts say it would push 13 million Americans off the insurance rolls over the next decade.

__

3:43 a.m.

The Obama health care law's requirement that Americans get insurance coverage is now pinned as a target of Republican lawmakers. They are looking to end the individual mandate to help pay for deep tax cuts.

Senate Republicans showed Tuesday they're intent on scrapping the Affordable Care Act's insurance mandate, and the idea was endorsed by scores of GOP lawmakers in the House.

The surprise renewal of the failed effort to eliminate the law's mandate came a day after President Donald Trump renewed pressure on Republican lawmakers to include the repeal in their sweeping legislation to revamp the tax system.

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