Tags: obamacare | future | murky | mandate

Murky Future for Obamacare Without Mandate

Image: Murky Future for Obamacare Without Mandate
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 09:26 AM

The Republican tax bill set to pass this week will eliminate the mandate that most Americans have health insurance, leaving an unclear future for the Affordable Care Act, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The end of the mandate will lead to higher premiums and lower enrollment in plans sold on the health law's marketplace, Boston University health law Prof. Wendy Mariner told the Times, but added that "I don't think we can say with any confidence" how much premiums will rise or coverage will decline.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that getting rid of the mandate penalties will boost premiums by 10 percent and leave four million more people uninsured in 2019 and 13 million more uninsured after a decade, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In some cases, this will be because people don't want the insurance, but for others it will be because they can't afford the increased cost.

Ending the mandate will save the government more than $300 billion over the next decade because fewer people will get insurance subsidies or Medicaid, according to the budget office.

However, despite the elimination of the mandate, other parts of Obamacare remain, according to the Times.

The government will continue to help pay premiums for those with low or moderate income and will forbid insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums due to one's medical condition or history.

The government also will continue to necessitate that insurers give specified benefits such as maternity care and drug addiction treatment.

In addition, the millions who became eligible for Medicaid as a result of the expansion of the program are allowed to keep their coverage.

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said the GOP tax legislation will result in many people paying more in higher premiums than they would get in tax cuts.

However, those moderate Republicans who voted against the wishes of their party's leaders in the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act over the summer now support the tax legislation.

Alaskan Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski explained that "eliminating the tax penalty does not take care away from anyone. Instead, it provides important relief to those who have been penalized for choosing not to buy unaffordable insurance."

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The Republican tax bill set to pass this week will eliminate the mandate that most Americans have health insurance, leaving an unclear future for the Affordable Care Act, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
obamacare, future, murky, mandate
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2017-26-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 09:26 AM
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