House Republican Study Committee: Chairman Walker to introduce Individual Mandate Repeal Amendment
I want to draw your attention to an amendment RSC Chairman Mark Walker will introduce to H.R.1, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, that will eliminate Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty.
Eliminating the mandate is good policy, will make passing tax reform easier, and also make it easier to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Until enactment of Obamacare, the federal government had never required individuals to purchase a product from a private company. CBO has estimated that the individual mandate will force approximately 13 million people, who would not voluntarily choose to purchase Obamacare-compliant plans without the threat of federal penalties, to do so.
CBO estimates that repeal of the mandate would reduce federal deficits by $338 billion over ten years. This will help the bill meet the fiscal constraints imposed by the reconciliation process, and could be used by the Ways and Means Committee to improve the tax reform bill even further, making it more pro-growth.
Addressing the individual mandate now will defuse the argument made by Obamacare supporters that repeal will result in a spike in uninsured. CBO projected that the American Health Care Act would cover 14 million fewer people than Obamacare in 2018, but explained that “most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate.”