The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 is one of the most revolutionary legislation in the country. In particular, the law hindered insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-conditions (Waskiewicz and Krutz 58). The landmark legislation was also formulated to limit the impact of healthcare disparities. Nevertheless, Obamacare has faced increasing opposition from Republican legislators. President Donald Trump has led a long-standing campaign to repeal and replace the ACA. He has also signed numerous executive orders intended to dismantle Obamacare. In this paper, I will discuss the impact of repealing the individual mandate section of the ACA.
The Individual Mandate Section
Individual mandate requires all Americans to purchase health insurance lest they bear penalties (Bluth). The law was implemented whenever people were not covered by federal programs such as Medicare or Medicaid. Health insurance provided by an employer was also sufficient to eliminate the need for individual mandate. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed by Congress several months after Trump’s inauguration. The subsequent signing of the bill eliminated the provision of individual mandate (Breed 4). Nevertheless, many stakeholders wonder whether this change will reduce the number of Americans with active health coverage.
Effects of Repealing the Individual Mandate
The removal of individual mandate could expose uninsured persons to poor health outcomes. Some people might discontinue their insurance payments since the fear of penalties is minimized (Bluth). On the other hand, people will have an opportunity to exercise personal preference regarding their choice of health cover. The challenges associated with the removal of individual mandate can be solved in two ways. For example, the government can reinstate the initial provision with reduced penalties. This will require the input of lobby groups and other relevant stakeholders. Alternatively, federal subsidies can be issued on health insurance. People who sign up for health care coverage within a certain period can be entitled to corresponding subsidies.
Benefits of Federal Subsidies
The second solution is preferable to the first due to several reasons. For example, many Americans are enticed by the prospect of enjoying subsidies. The costs of health care coverage have dissuaded many people from acquiring cover. Heavy subsidies can contribute greatly towards increasing the number of insured persons. Reducing the number of penalties would also have a similar impact on the level of coverage. Nevertheless, reenacting individual mandate would be quite impossible. This is because Republicans control the Congress. It would be tough for Democrats to overcome the influence and control of their counterparts. President Trump also has plenty of power with which to incentivize legislators. Republicans seek to reduce the amount of government expenditure on healthcare (Waskiewicz and Krutz 65). Consequently, implementing subsidies is considerably easier than reenacting individual mandate.
Implementation of Subsidies
Local governments can contribute to the implementation of subsidies by collecting public views. Consulting with and educating the citizens will contribute towards the popularization of health insurance. State governments can assist by setting higher allocations for expenditure on health. The federal government can also contribute by providing the required funds for implementing subsidies. Several branches of the federal government have distinct roles to play. For instance, Congress can enact laws to guarantee health subsidies. The executive arm as represented by the President can implement established laws and provide technical support (Waskiewicz and Krutz 72). On the other hand, the judiciary can prosecute any insurance firms that deny applicants the right to use subsidies. Consequently, all branches of the federal government can contribute towards better healthcare outcomes.
Bluth, Rachel. A Health Plan 'Down Payment' Is One Way States Try Retooling Individual Mandate. 8 Mar. 2018. Web. 14 Mar. 2018. Available from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/03/08/591909106/a-health-plan-down-payment-is-one-way-states-try-retooling-individual-mandate
Breed, London N. "Federal Updates Major Tax Reform Bill Signed, Repealing the ACA Individual Mandate." Policy 1 (2018): 4.
Waskiewicz, Sylvie, and Glen S. Krutz. "American government." (2016). Print.