Repeal of Individual Mandate Would Increase Uninsured, Premiums: CBO

The CBO found that health insurance premiums would rise by about 10 percent in most years over the next decade in the individual market created by Obamacare.

REUTERS

(Reuters) — The Congressional Budget Office said on Wednesday that repealing the Obamacare individual mandate would increase the number of uninsured by 13 million by 2027 and reduce the federal budget deficit less than initially forecast.

The CBO, the nonpartisan budget-scoring agency, said that eliminating the Obamacare mandate that all Americans purchase health insurance or else pay a fine would lower the deficit by $338 billion over the next decade, not $416 billion as it estimated in December.

The agency found that health insurance premiums would rise by about 10 percent in most years over the next decade in the individual market created by the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement. It noted that markets in most areas of the country would remain stable.

President Donald Trump and some Republicans favor including a repeal of the mandate in tax overhaul legislation. But lawmakers, Republican aides and lobbyists have said it would be difficult to include a repeal in a tax effort complicated by intraparty differences and intense business lobbying.

The individual mandate is a central tenet of Obamacare that health policy experts and proponents say is essential to making the law work. It compels young and healthy people to join health insurance markets and help lower premiums by offsetting the costs of sicker patients.

Americans must note on their tax returns whether they have health coverage.

Yet it has proved to be among the most controversial portions of the law as Republicans, who say Obamacare is too expensive and an example of government overreach, argue that the federal government should not be able to require people to buy health insurance if they do not want it.

The CBO said in its December report that the individual mandate increases the federal deficit by encouraging people to buy subsidized coverage, either through Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled, employer-provided plans, or through the Obamacare individual health insurance market.

Eliminating the mandate would lower the deficit by reducing federal spending on subsidized health insurance coverage, it said.

The CBO said abolishing the requirement would cause premiums to rise because healthier people would be less likely to purchase insurance. It found that the resulting increases would cause more people to forego insurance.

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  • And many of the uninsured would be the healthy young who feel no need to pay every month for expensive insurance they very likely won’t use for years.

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  • The problem with the individual mandate, as i see it, is not so much with the ‘forced participation’ aspect of it. The whole reason why people form societies is to gain certain benefits collectively that are difficult or impossible to attain individually. The fact that every single person in a society does not get every single benefit equally cannot be overriding: 1) it negates purpose of societies, and 2) the society will eventually disintegrate.

    The problem with the ACA individual mandate is the forced patronage of ANY PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT business, ESPECIALLY one in the insurance racket.

    The very concept of ‘for-profit insurance’ should be illegal. The ‘perfect score’ in for-profit insurance companies is collecting as much money as they can get from as many people as they can reach, in return for which they have to give exactly NOTHING. I’m not aware of any other industry about which this is true. A government-enforced mandate may be the only thing that keeps the insurance racket from achieving its ‘perfection’; but certainly, it is still no favor to us.

    We all could fully fund Obamacare at current levels and still SAVE money were we not required to put a portion of it into the pockets of the avaricious, giga-rich, sociopathic predators at the apex of the for-profit insurance racket pyramid. If our insurance premiums are tantamount to a tax, as the Supreme Court held, then that money should be completely collected and administrated by a GOVERNMENT body in a not-for-profit fashion.

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  • It will also cause everyone else’s insurance premiums to rise, as the shrinking of the risk pool makes the costs of both medical insurance and medical care more expensive.

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