US Individual Healthcare Mandate to be Ended?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Obamacare imposed a healthcare mandate, requiring everyone have insurance or pay a penalty.
Insurers are restricted on charging consumers based on their health status, prevented from imposing higher premiums on individuals with preexisting conditions.
A number of states argued against the mandate in federal court, claiming Congress has no authority to compel commerce by penalizing inaction.
Two federal courts upheld the individual mandate, one declared it unconstitutional. Another ruled the federal Anti-Injunction Act prevents deciding on the issue until consumers begin paying penalties in 2015.
On June 12, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the mandate, calling it a valid tax. In 1994, the Congressional Budget Office called mandated insurance “an unprecedented form of federal action,” adding:
“The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”
Under Obamacare, the individual healthcare mandate is the law of the land. Trump and congressional Republicans want it ended.
The president urged Congress to repeal it. In early November, he drafted an executive order gutting it, holding off signing it, waiting to see if Congress will end it for him.
Abolishing it will cause a harmful ripple effect. Fewer healthy people will buy insurance. Premiums will be higher than otherwise for everyone wanting it, making coverage unaffordable for millions.
In a letter to congressional leaders, groups representing insurers, doctors and hospitals said “(e)eliminating the individual mandate…will result in a significant increase in premiums, which would in turn substantially increase the number of uninsured Americans.”
“We join together to urge Congress to maintain the individual mandate.”
“There will be serious consequences if Congress simply repeals the mandate while leaving the insurance reforms in place…”
“(M)illions more will be uninsured or face higher premiums, challenging their ability to access the care they need. Let’s work together on solutions that deliver the access, care, and coverage that the American people deserve.”
America’s Health Insurance Plans
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Hospital Association
American Medical Association
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Federation of American Hospitals
According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, repeal will leave 13 million more Americans uninsured by 2027 than currently projected.
Repealing it frees up nearly $340 billion in budget savings. Senate tax cut legislation includes repeal, funds saved to go for corporate and high-net-worth households tax cuts.
That’s what it’s all about – making healthcare increasingly unaffordable so America’s privileged class can pay less taxes.
It’s part of longstanding transfer of wealth in the country from ordinary people to corporate predators and super-rich ones – no matter how harmful to the nation’s most vulnerable.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”