Timothy Jost: Exempting More People from the Individual Mandate Could Lead to More Uninsured

eAlert 1c4e57bb-a5d4-408d-83f1-35b7e0b94ab6

<p>Many of the people who are required by the Affordable Care Act to have health insurance — including those earning less than $59,000 — would be exempt from that mandate and its penalty under new legislation sponsored by senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.). As Washington and Lee University School of Law professor Timothy S. Jost notes on <em>To the Point,</em> while the provision is not yet in the current House Republican tax bill, it could be added.</p><p>The bill’s cosponsors argue that 80 percent of people who paid the penalty in 2015 earned less than $50,000. Yet lower-income people, Jost points out, already have exemptions from the mandate, meaning that many who paid the penalty were likely not legally required to do so. </p>
<p>Rather than discourage healthy people from buying insurance — and potentially raising premiums for those with coverage — Jost says policymakers should instead be encouraging Americans to go to the marketplaces and find the affordable coverage available to them.</p>

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/newsletters/ealerts/2017/nov/exempting-individual-mandate Read the post