by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Health insurers approve of repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate, the part of the law that forces Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty, among other provisions included in replacement plans put forth by Republicans.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade association representing health insurance companies, released a paper this week outlining their views on how to make health care work for every American.
“The Affordable Care Act will see significant changes,” the group said, using the formal name for Obamacare. “Those changes can either begin a stable transition to a better approach, or they can bring about even more uncertainty and instability.”
“Replacing the individual mandate with strong, effective incentives, such as late enrollment penalties and waiting periods, can help expand coverage and lower costs for everyone,” they said.
While the individual mandate will likely be changed, the group said there will need to be an effort to encourage everyone to purchase coverage to avoid high premiums and fewer consumer choices.
In June, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) released the GOP’s agenda to reform health care by replacing Obamacare. The plan would offer tax credits to the uninsured so they can purchase health coverage. It would also replace guaranteed issue with high-risk pools and expand provisions like health savings accounts.
The trade association supports these measures.
“Tools such as tax credits can help low-income individuals and families get the coverage they need—but must be effective enough to make coverage truly affordable,” the group said. “For Americans with complex medical needs, solutions like high-risk pools can mitigate the risk of adverse selection and deliver effective coverage.”
“More consumer choice and more consumer control, through solutions like tax credits and Health Savings Accounts, will deliver efficient, effective solutions that control costs for both consumers and taxpayers,” the group said.