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With their tax package, Republicans have achieved a long-sought for goal of getting rid of the individual mandate. While some experts say it will cause a death spiral, others say it won’t be quite that dire.
Some possible steps, however, are costly and would require a two-thirds majority of the state Legislature. Meanwhile, the New York Times takes a closer look at the individual mandate and how for both sides it’s become a symbol that’s much bigger than itself.
In most states, to get January coverage, people need to sign up by today, but California is giving customers an extra week to enroll. Also, today’s federal deadline for getting coverage for 2018 under the Affordable Care Act doesn’t apply to Californians. But those signing up into January won’t have their coverage start start until Feb. 1 at the earliest.
The gold plans are normally more expensive, but consumers are reaping an unintended consequence of the Trump administration’s cutting off cost-sharing subsidies for insurers.
And unlike the federal exchanges, which have a shorter enrollment period, Covered California’s runs through January.
A selection of opinions on health care developments from around the state.
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.
The Congressional Budget Offices estimates that 4 million Americans would lose insurance coverage in 2019 if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate as part of its tax legislation. The nonpartisan agency says that passing the Alexander-Murray bill, aimed at stabilizing the health law marketplaces, would not soften that blow. Still, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is pushing for the measure during tax bill discussions.
The New York Times provides a statistical guide to the people who opt to forego insurance and pay a penalty instead. Also in news about insurance coverage, one paper explores how sometimes an income drop can help make coverage more affordable and save money, and another insurer moves into the venture capital market.
As a Senate panel advances the Republicans’ tax plan, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) says support for eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is solidifying. And President Donald Trump signals openness to a series of Obamacare fixes that could sway key GOP lawmakers. Meanwhile, other health items still on the agenda are stacking up.