Politics divided over individual mandate elimination

The individual mandate requires most Americans to have a minimum level of health coverage and it remains the law. 

But the Republican tax bill passed Wednesday zeroes out the fine for people who do not buy insurance.

The president says it was a way to repeal Obamacare by cutting off a source of funding, but some health care advocacy groups say it could make it harder on people who do buy insurance.

"When you have fewer people paying into the insurance pool that raises the cost for everyone who remains in the insurance pool," said Phila Back. 

Phila Back is with the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, which advocates for affordable health care.  She says she expects premiums, co-pays and deductibles to rise because of the elimination of the fine.

Democratic Senator Bob Casey agrees saying the tax bill sabotages our nation's health care system.

Casey noted the Congressional Budget office predicts 13 million fewer Americans will be insured and premiums will go up by as much as 10 percent.

But Republican Senator Pat Toomey calls the elimination of the individual mandate fine a strike for personal freedom.

A Toomey spokesman says the individual mandate failed to drive enrollment to the Obamacare exchanges. Earlier this week, Toomey told fellow senators he believes changes made in the tax bill, including the elimination of the fine, will result in economic growth. 

"I am convinced when we pass this legislation and it is signed into law, the federal budget deficits will shrink as the result of this legislation," Toomey said. 

The elimination of the individual mandate takes effect in 2019.

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links may be removed by the moderator.

Allentown, PA 18102




  • 0%

This Week's Circulars

Latest from the newsroom