Republican Tax Bill Proves Congress Wasn’t Done With Health Policy
The GOP tax plan includes a range of health-related provisions -- key among them is language that would eliminate the tax penalty created by the Affordable Care Act for not having health insurance. In addition, it threatens to trigger across-the-board cuts to Medicare and other domestic programs. A number of stakeholders and advocacy groups are expressing concerns about the impact of this and other changes that Republican lawmakers are advancing.
Will GOP Finally Take Down Obamacare With A Tax Bill?
After spending nearly a year on a failed effort to repeal Obamacare, Republicans on Capitol Hill are on the verge of repealing the law’s individual mandate as a footnote to their rewrite of the American tax system. At least two of the three Senate Republicans who blocked the repeal effort over the summer have no problem undoing the requirement that nearly all Americans carry insurance — a provision Democrats say is vital to keeping the Affordable Care Act afloat. (Haberkorn, 11/30)
The New York Times:
Without Obamacare Mandate, ‘You Open The Floodgates’ For Skimpy Health Plans
The drive by Senate Republicans to repeal the requirement that most Americans have health insurance is not only likely to discourage people from signing up for coverage during the current enrollment period, but also could result in higher premiums. If repeal is approved, people could opt out of buying policies because they would no longer face a tax penalty and millions could go uninsured. With the Affordable Care Act already weakened by the Trump administration, big drops in enrollment would deal yet another body blow to the law and wreak more havoc in the individual insurance market. (Abelson, 11/30)
Insurance Officials Worry Mandate Repeal Will Damage Markets
Many state insurance officials, even some in red states, are warning that repealing ObamaCare's individual mandate in the GOP tax-reform bill would cause damage to their markets. Insurance commissioners warn that premiums would rise, insurers could drop out of the market and more people would go without coverage if the mandate is repealed, as Senate Republicans are poised to do as part of their tax bill this week. (Sullivan, 11/30)