Premiums would increase by 10 percent.
Repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate would lead to 13 million fewer Americans having health insurance and save the federal government $338 billion in the next 10 years.
The numbers come from a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, which re-scored the repeal as Republicans consider including it in their tax reform proposal as a means of saving money — and striking a blow to the health care law they’ve campaigned against but haven’t quite been able to undo. (President Trump is also reportedly considering an executive order that would defang the mandate.)
Four million more Americans would be uninsured in 2019, the first of the mandate’s repeal, with the uninsured figure increasing over the next decade to 13 million in 2027.
The mandate requires every American to have health insurance or pay a penalty. It’s the Affordable Care Act’s incentive for young and healthy people to buy insurance. Without it, healthier people would be expected to drop out of the market, which then increases insurance premiums. The CBO estimated premiums on the marketplaces would go up 10 percent if the mandate were repealed.
So the net effect of repealing the mandate is: fewer people insured, higher insurance premiums — but savings for the federal government.
The budget office had previously estimated that repealing the mandate would lead to 15 million fewer people having insurance and $416 billion in federal savings. These new numbers, which were updated to use a summer 2017 baseline for evaluating its repeal, represent a relatively modest change.
But they could mean a lot for the Republican tax reform dreams.
The new CBO numbers are a big deal for the GOP’s tax bill
The CBO’s revised estimate will have a dual effect on the Republican tax plan, if Congress decides to add the mandate’s repeal to their legislation.
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