Obamacare’s Individual Mandate: On Its Way Out? Or Will Tax Bill Fail to Pass?

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Kentucky), center, spoke at a Nov. 14 news conference at the US Capitol about the possibility of repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. PHOTO: ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal by Louise Radnofsky and Stephanie Armour on December 10, 2017.

With Congress seemingly on the brink of repealing the Affordable Care Act’s centerpiece requirement that most people get insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats are warning such a move would be disastrous, and Republicans are anticipating a sweeping symbolic victory.

Senate Republicans included a measure to repeal the mandate in their recently passed tax overhaul; the House didn’t, leaving GOP leaders to hammer out a final agreement for the compromise bill they hope to pass by year’s end. …

Not everyone is persuaded. Many Democrats say repealing the mandate would shred the ACA as younger, healthier people decline to get coverage, raising costs for older and sicker individuals. That, they warn, would plunge the individual insurance market into a fresh round of premium spikes and insurer withdrawals.

“Any Republican who backs this tax plan is backing a health-care repeal,” said Brad Woodhouse, director of the Protect Our Care campaign, which backs the ACA. “If they insist on repealing health care to pay for tax breaks for the well-to-do, and then using it as a precursor to ravage American health care even further, they can expect to be held accountable.” …

WSJ 12/10

 

GOP Senator Collins Says She Would Consider Changing Her Tax Plan Vote Over Amendments

Reprinted from CNN by Daniella Diaz on December 8, 2017.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine says she would consider removing her support from GOP tax plans, saying in an interview she could change her vote if her proposed amendments don’t make it in the final version.

“I would (consider changing my vote),” she told CNN affiliate CBS WABI5 on Thursday. “I’m going to look at what comes out of the conference committee meeting to reconcile the differences between the Senate and House bill. So I won’t make a final decision until I see what that package is.”
Collins has made similar claims since the bill passed the Senate last week.
One of the amendments she added would allow a deduction for property taxes, another would allow a provision protecting retirement benefits for employees of charities and local governments, and another would be a medical expense deduction. …

CNN 12/8

About Jeffrey Burman 3100 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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