The Trump Tax Scam, enacted in December 2017, includes a repeal of the individual mandate. Repealing the individual mandate, which requires that every American have health insurance or pay a penalty, was the centerpiece of the Republicans’ failed effort to pass the “skinny repeal” bill in the Senate in July 2017. Numerous major health care groups came out strongly against the idea of repealing the individual mandate, saying that it will lead to “a significant increase in premiums, which would in turn substantially increase the number of uninsured Americans.” The good news is that the individual mandate remains in effect through the end of 2018, which gives states some time to react with health coverage policy changes at the state level.
Republicans Used Their Tax Scam to Tank Insurance Markets
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in preparation for this possibility, prepared an analysis of what the effect of repealing the individual mandate would be on insurance markets. Their results are damning:
- 13 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage by 2027 - 4 million of them in 2019.
- Premiums would increase about 10% annually, on top of expected increases.
- Because premiums would be considerably higher, people with pre-existing conditions could be priced out of the market.
Fewer people having health insurance means Republicans got back over $300 billion that they used to make corporate and pass-through tax cuts bigger and permanent—money that would otherwise be used to help low-income people afford their insurance coverage.
The Trump Tax Scam Fight is TrumpCare
Even before this decision, the Trump Tax Scam fight was firmly intertwined with the fight to protect our care. The Tax Scam’s increase in the standard deduction drastically cuts the number of people who benefit from critical tax deductions, such as the medical expense deduction, that low-income people use to help them afford medical care; it disincentivizes research for “orphan drugs” that can help cure or manage rare diseases; and it blows a massive hole in the deficit, which the Republicans will certainly use to justify huge cuts to Medicaid and Medicare down the line.
Republicans need to be held accountable at the polls in November 2018 for their support of the Trump Tax Scam and its negative effect on affordable health care.