Debate On Health Law Repeal & Individual Tax Mandate Swirls
Considerations on the ACA status may include a repeal defining that most Americans must have insurance coverage as part of their tax-overhaul package. This adds an uncertain element to an already complex legislative effort.
Basically the proposal would co-mingle the draft tax bill currently under consideration with health-care provisions. In short, the concept would use the savings generated by repealing the individual ACA mandate to lower taxes for middle-income households.
This approach would also extend payments (used for subsidies for lower-income consumers) to health-insurance companies for two years.
According to nonpartisan analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, ending the mandate would lower the federal deficit by $338 billion over the next decade. Eliminating the requirement would increase the number of people without insurance by four million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.
Industry stakeholders—including America’s Health Insurance Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and the American Medical Association—have urged keeping the mandate.
Some predict that the elimination of the individual mandate could result in a significant increase in premiums, which would in turn substantially increase the number of uninsured Americans.
Others predict that repealing the health care mandate could cut the deficit since those who get insurance as a result of the mandate also get government subsidies. If the mandate were repealed and those people didn’t obtain coverage, the government would no longer be providing that assistance. Ending the mandate could also reduce the number of people on Medicaid.
The proposed outcome is to end the mandate and provide financial relief from the penalty for many people who can’t afford higher premiums.
This recommendation offers an alternative approach of dealing with the complicated issue. Insurance premiums and tax credits aren’t usually thrown into the same deliberation. We will learn how this proposal fares in the next few weeks.