Mandating health insurance
However, the employer may not be contributing much to the coverage, and so low-income workers may not be able to afford what the employer is offering.It would be best to treat all individuals with the same incomes in the same way with regard to the financial assistance being provided by the government.” The individual mandate is a bad idea Glen Whitman, an economist at Cal State Northridge “The individual mandate is not a solution to problems in the healthcare system but a deceptive patch for problems created by other features of the proposed healthcare bill.A commentary by a lawyer published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine disputed that interpretationdisputed that interpretation.But practical questions remain in any case about whether the individual mandate is the best strategy for achieving universal health coverage and overhauling the country’s increasingly costly health system.If there were no individual mandate included in the legislation, this would create a situation where people would be likely to wait until they had a health problem diagnosed before they applied for insurance.That would cause premiums to increase and make coverage increasingly unattractive to people who are young and healthy.The designers of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — also known as Obamacare — argued that its many pieces fit together tightly, and the success of the whole law depends upon the maintenance of the individual parts.One key element, the individual mandate — a requirement that Americans obtain insurance coverage or pay a tax-based penalty — was effectively repealed with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which set the penalty to zero.
In fact, compliance has been so high that the state hasn’t even charged the highest penalty it is allowed to under the law.
“What the government is trying to do is transform insurance into a welfare system.
In Massachusetts, it turns out that subsidies are needed in order to get people to comply with the mandate anyway.
This repeal becomes effective in 2019 causing us to ponder to what extent the absence of a tax penalty will lead to higher premiums and to an increase in the uninsured.
Both existing research and economic theory suggest that of the three legs of the individual market, the most important is likely the premium tax credit, and the mandate likely the least important.