After an extensive effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare—that eventually stayed on—senators of the Republican Party are now trying hard to rescind the individual mandate of Obamacare as part of their tax reform bill.
The Republican senators are arguing that repealing the individual mandate, which was part of the ACA, in tax legislation, would help reduce tax rates for individuals. If the move becomes a success making its way through a Senate committee, it would not add anything more to the deficit, they said.
Individual health care mandate
The “individual mandate” of the ACA requires Americans falling into the category (unless they are exempt from it) to buy some basic form of health insurance coverage during the year, else they become liable for a tax penalty. The logic behind the mandate was that if everyone, including the healthy, bought health insurance policies, the risk pools would be broader, which, in turn, would lower premiums for everyone.
Now, the Republicans want to do away with this mandate as a tax reform. However, they were cautious of introducing any healthcare measure to the bill initially, considering it as a bad political gambit and fearing a backlash.
How repealing the mandate would help
According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the party would ensure that the repeal has enough votes to pass through in the Senate during the voting. The Senate Finance Committee is working toward it, he said. The Republican senators are confident that repealing the individual mandate would prove to be fruitful.
The party stands divided on the decision to revoke the individual mandate, with many Republicans still skeptical about the ramifications of such a move. Moderate Sen. Susan Collins said that she did not know how to cast her vote. She fears that removing individual mandate would invariably increase healthcare premiums.
However, those who support the repeal said that it would reduce federal deficits considerably. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated last week that obliterating the mandate would reduce federal deficits by $338 billion over the next 10 years, helping the GOP in not exceeding a $1.5 trillion cap on how much the reform bill can add to the deficit over the same period. However, the CBO also believes that a repeal would increase the number of the uninsured by 13 million by 2027, contrary to those who oppose it.
Whether it ends up like the earlier attempts to repeal anything related to Obamacare or is successful this time, the next few days would be crucial to see how the tax reform bill pans out.
Insurance helps addiction and mental illness treatment
It is important that treatment for substance abuse and mental health conditions be covered by insurance. Patients, of both mental illness and substance abuse, are vulnerable and qualify for utmost care. Treatment could be costly as most intervention programs demand long-term commitment for complete recovery. Passed in 2010, Obamacare covered addiction treatment, encouraging millions of people, who have fallen prey to an addiction, to seek treatment.
Recovery road map
Whether one has an insurance cover or not, treatment for any addiction is indispensable and cannot wait. Severe and chronic addictions are always fatal. If you have a loved one struggling with an addiction, seek immediate professional help.
Sovereign Health is a leading substance abuse treatment provider in the United States with evidence-based treatment programs for most addictions. If you are looking for a drug addiction treatment center in your vicinity, call our 24/7 helpline for information. You can even chat online with our representatives to get expert advice on drug addiction treatment programs.