So Tax Reform Means…13 Million Fewer Americans with Health Insurance?

By Stacie Murphy, Policy Director

So I know it feels like I say this every week (because I do say it pretty much every week), but everyone needs to call their senators. Like, right now. Call them.

I know, I know. But they’re doing it again. Senate Republicans, desperately hunting for budget savings in their bill to cut taxes for corporations and really, really rich people, have added a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to their “Tax Reform” plan.

The Congressional Budget Office says this move will increase premiums across the board and leave 13 million fewer people with insurance.

But it will save the government a few bucks (in the short term), and that means they can cut taxes on millionaires even more, so, you know, FULL STEAM AHEAD.

But it’s bad, terrible, horrific health care policy. One more time, for the people (Republican members of Congress) who still don’t seem to get it:

  • The individual mandate exists to help hold down costs for everyone.
  • Without it, there is nothing to prevent healthy people from waiting until they get sick to purchase insurance.
  • Since no one wants to remove the provision that protects people with pre-existing conditions, that means insurance companies will have more sick people and fewer healthy people in their pools.
  • That means their costs will go up.
  • Which means premiums will go up.
  • When premiums go up, more healthy people will decide to wait on buying insurance.
  • Repeat until the whole insurance market implodes.

Right now, there’s only one public Republican “NO” vote on the bill—Wisconsin’s Senator Ron Johnson. Maine’s Susan Collins appears to be leaning that way. If she’s a NO, we only need one more to kill it, so hit the phones.

P.S. Call your representative, too, while you’re at it—they just voted today on their version of the bill today. That one doesn’t have the health care component in it, but it does do that whole “screw all the not-rich people” thing they’re so good at. It passed, of course.

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