Tax Bill Includes Repeal of Obamacare Individual Mandate

December 19, 2017

All eyes are focused on what the decision will be out of Washington, D.C. today, as Congress decides the future of the Republican-designed tax bill.

The House of Representatives passed the proposed tax bill 227 – 203, with only 12 House Republicans opposing the legislation and no Democrats voting for it.

If fully approved, it will be the biggest tax overhaul in over 30 years, since the Reagan Administration.

Not only would this tax plan focus on providing tax cuts to individuals and corporations, but the bill includes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate, otherwise known as the Obamacare individual mandate.
GOP Tax Bill also Manages to Needlessly Screw Up the Healthcare System

Dr. Michael T. French, a professor in Health Sector Management and Policy in the Business School, told columnist David Lazarus, of the LA Times, that the decision to combine these two policies was “short-sighted and selfish.”

“Any serious health economist will tell you that the individual mandate was a good move for health insurance markets,” he said.

“Allowing people to wait until they become sick before they buy insurance just makes the market unsustainable. It means the only people covered are sick people, and that makes insurance too expensive.”

The future of healthcare will be decided on by the Senate later today, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the vote. If approved, the Congressional Budget Office estimates a 10% increase on insurance premiums and four million more people will become uninsured in 2019.

The full article from the LA Times, featuring Dr. French, can be found at: http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-republican-tax-bill-individual-mandate-20171219-story.html

Update (as of December 20, 2017): The tax cut bill was narrowly passed by the Senate overnight, passing 51-48, in a party-line vote. Three provisions within the tax cut plan violated Senate rules and were removed from the bill. The House will meet today to revote on the updated bill. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill, and plans to hold a press conference today at 1:00 p.m.

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