Senate Republicans must be especially mindful of budget math since they are trying to pass the bill through a process known reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority vote.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the individual mandate repeal hadn't been added to the Senate bill as a bargaining chip that could be removed later if it risked costing the votes of key Republican senators such as Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
If the health-care language is stripped from the bill, Senate Republican leaders could be forced to change the plan dramatically.
Collins said Sunday on ABC that the bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee "needs work" when it comes to the Senate floor, and that the decision to include the individual mandate repeal was a mistake. Repealing it in the Senate plan would give Republicans more revenue to work with in their tax-cutting efforts because fewer people would buy insurance and receive federal subsidies to help pay for their coverage. Trump had pressed for the provision to be added to the bill, partly to show progress on the GOP goal of undoing the health care law following Congress' failed attempts to repeal it earlier this year. "So I think it's up to the Senate and the House to sort of hammer out those details".
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the GOP tax plan would add roughly $2.5 trillion in new revenue over 10 years, far surpassing the $169 billion projected by the Tax Policy Center.
The provision could be dropped if it becomes "an impediment", Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, said on CNN's "State of the Union". "If it becomes an impediment to getting the best tax bill we can we're okay with taking it out".
Trump did not directly address the issue Monday.
She has said she believes that the bill should not combine tax policy with health care policy, and that by repealing the individual mandate, lawmakers could cause premiums to skyrocket.
Blunt said he thinks the House and Senate bills are very reconcilable - even with the inclusion of the individual mandate repeal.
Collins told NBC News' Chuck Todd this week that she believes it's a mistake to combine the tax bill with health care policy, and that she's particularly concerned that, for many ME families, a rise in insurance premiums from the elimination of the mandate "more than cancels out" any benefit from cuts in tax rates.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., has already declared his opposition to the bill, saying last week that it doesn't cut business taxes enough for partnerships and corporations. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform USA sugar program A bipartisan bridge opens between the House and Senate Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Maine) to vote against Senate Republicans' tax reform proposal.
Republicans can lose just two senators on the final vote, which would allow Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking 51st vote in his capacity as president of the Senate. Democrats are not expected to support the bill, as was the case when the House passed its version. But he repeated his call to get rid of the mandate because "poor people pay that tax... it's one of the many fallacies of Obamacare".
"The president thinks we should get rid of it". Obamacare was a gimmick to get through these rules in the Senate.
"This isn't a bargaining chip", Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday.