Repeal of Individual Mandate Would Cause 13 Million Consumers to Lose Health Coverage

(BOSTON) -- Statement of Robert Restuccia in response to news reports that the Senate will include repeal of the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that individuals purchase insurance or pay a tax penalty, the “individual mandate” as part of their tax cut package.

“The repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate included as part of the Senate tax cut package would be yet another back-door move by the Republican-led Congress to strip health care away from working families in order to finance their massive tax cuts to the wealthiest American households and corporations. According to the Congressional Budget Office, repeal of the mandate would increase health care premiums, leave 13 million people without insurance and cause massive disruption in the health care marketplace. Middle class families who are dealing with serious conditions would be particularly at risk of losing coverage.

“It’s already unconscionable that the proposed tax bills in both branches of Congress would fund tax breaks for those least in need of them on the backs of older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people living with disabilities, people of color, children and working families – through deep cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, education and other vital services. Gutting the individual mandate would put the health and financial well-being of millions more families on the line.

“Repeal of the individual mandate was already defeated in the Senate as part of the ‘skinny repeal’ bill and it has been resoundingly rejected by governors of both parties, health insurers, physicians, patient advocates, and experts. Yet Senate Republicans clearly have not gotten the message.

“The Senate should reject this tax plan and return to bipartisan efforts to pass the bipartisan Alexander-Murray legislation, which would reduce individual market premiums, generate modest savings for the federal government, and not reduce coverage.”

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About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable, quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.

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