The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has previously stated it would be a catastrophe to remove the ObamaCare mandate.
But the CBO is now backing away from its view about how crucial the mandate is.
In its November report it now concludes that the market for individual health insurance “would continue to be stable in almost all areas of the country throughout the coming decade” without the mandate.
In other words, it does not foresee a “death spiral” where healthy people take the opportunity to flee that market. That theory would have premiums skyrocketing as they left, and resulting in other healthy people exiting the market as well.
The CBO does, however, project that 13 million fewer people will have insurance. They would not be “losing” healthcare coverage. They would be DECLINING to sign up for it. The CBO projects that individual-market premiums would rise about 10 percent as healthy people declined that coverage.
Congress has had not much luck in repealing and replacing Obamacare, but they are close to undoing one of the least popular feature of the law. Both the Senate and House have passed tax bills that abolish the fines for Americans who go without health insurance. Hopefully they will reconcile both bills soon so they can move a completed bill on to Trump’s desk.
The tax bill doesn’t just advance a major conservative objective on health policy. It prepares the ground for replacing other parts of Obamacare as well.
Republicans have so far failed massively at passing health-care legislation this year. But future attempts at reforming Obamacare will have an advantage over previous ones.
The biggest argument against Republican health-care legislation has been that it would “take insurance away” from many millions of people. That argument was based on the CBO’s findings, and most of it was based on the end of the individual mandate.
This CBO reversal just took the legs out from under the Democrat mantra that Republicans are creating a catastrophe.