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President Trump wants to repeal the individual mandate. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Trump weighed in this morning on the internal GOP debate over whether to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate as part of a tax reform bill.

Wouldn't it be great to Repeal the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate in ObamaCare and use those savings for further Tax Cuts.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017

Why it matters: This move would likely open up the exact same rifts that sunk Republicans' health care efforts earlier this year, making tax reform even harder and imperiling the party's next-best chance for a legislative victory.

What it means: According to the Congressional Budget Office, repealing the ACA's individual mandate would increase the number of uninsured Americans by about 15 million; cause premiums to rise; and save the federal government roughly $380 billion over a decade. (Because fewer people would have insurance, the government would spend less on the ACA's subsidies.)

  • That's a lot of savings to help make up for the revenue the government would lose through big tax cuts.
  • And the individual mandate is an unpopular part of the ACA — with voters overall, and especially with conservatives.
  • But because it would come at the cost of an unstable insurance market, it'll be a hard sell for the same moderate Republicans who opposed their party's repeal-and-replace bills.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.