WASHINGTON (Gray DC) --
The newly signed Republican tax bill does away with enforcement of the provision called the individual mandate.
The penalty for not having health insurance goes away in 2019.
Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) said repealing the individual mandate will make it easier to afford health insurance.
Johnson said, “When the individual mandate goes away and the insurance companies compete for the business, right, they’re going to create products that are going to entice people to buy insurance.
Marc Short, the Trump administration’s Legislative Affairs Director, isn’t so certain of Johnson’s assessment.
Short said, “I don’t know that it’s actually going to lower rates. We hope it does.”
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the move will cause prices to go up on non-group plans, saying premiums will “…increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade…”
Saying that’s mainly because four to 13 million healthy people will drop off insurance over the next decade.
Short said, “They have been forecasting for a longtime that the individual mandate would reduce rates. Is anybody in America had reduced healthcare costs? No. Premiums have continued to skyrocket, so we’re not going to put a lot of credibility in their estimates.”
Democrats do take stock in the CBO’s projections, and worry rates will go up for people who keep insurance, while other healthy people will be totally uncovered.
It’s important to make clear, penalties will still be handed out to people who don’t have insurance in 2017 and 2018.