- The US Senate voted 51-49 to reform national tax policy and simultaneously repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, major news outlets reported at the end of last week.
GOP senators only lost one Republican vote and were able to push through a bill that will reduce the number of insured individuals in the country, according to nonpartisan evaluations of the hastily-assembled legislation.
An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Tax Committee (JCT) found that the bill would reduce the number of insured individuals by 13 million by the end of 2027. The organizations say the effects of the repeal would be felt sooner rather than later, as the number of insured individuals is expected to decrease by 4 million at the end of 2019.
CBO and JCT added that individual insurance consumer premiums would increase by 10 percent during this time. Both organizations believe removal of the mandate will decrease the likelihood of individual market participation.
“Those effects would occur mainly because healthier people would be less likely to obtain insurance and because, especially in the nongroup market, the resulting increases in premiums would cause more people to not purchase insurance,” CBO said.
The US House previously passed their own version of national tax reform that does not include a repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate, but the reconciliation process between both chambers of Congress could determine if the mandate is ultimately removed.