Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) two weeks ago:
“You can make an argument that Obamacare is falling of its own weight—until we repeal the individual mandate. […] Then there is absolutely no excuse for us not to replace Obamacare because we changed a fundamental principle of Obamacare. So I hope every Republican knows that when you pass repeal of the individual mandate, it’s no longer their problem, it becomes your problem.”
Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt told Axios, “I think next year will be even crazier” if Congress does pass an individual mandate repeal in their tax bill. That means even more insurers pulling out of markets and trying to figure out how to set premiums. More chaos as plans change and more chaos and confusion for people who are trying to buy or keep insurance.
- The Senate’s tax bill would eliminate the ACA’s penalty for being uninsured, starting on Jan. 1, 2019. That might seem like a long way away, but it’s not.
- Insurers will start deciding this coming spring whether they want to participate in the exchanges in 2019 — and if so, where. Without the mandate, insurers would likely begin to pull back from state marketplaces early next year, likely leaving many parts of the country with no insurance plans to choose from.
- Insurers will then have to finalize their 2019 premiums next fall. Those rates would likely be substantially higher (10% higher, on average, according to the Congressional Budget Office) without the mandate in place — and that news would hit just before next year’s midterms.
Yep, all that chaos peaks with next year’s midterm elections. Republicans are now taking affirmative action to destroy Obamacare by repealing the individual mandate in the tax bill. They completely own this, and they have nothing in the hopper to fix it. They’re going to have to come up with something fast, and Trumpcare isn’t going to cut it.
Jam your senators’ phone lines at (202) 224-3121. Tell them to vote “no” on the Republican tax bill.
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